In honor of National Homeownership Month we’re giving an in-depth focus on what each generation is looking for in a home. We’ve already covered the millennials, but what about the generation just above them? They’re more than a few years out of college, are probably on an established career track, and have children at the younger end of the age spectrum. And for Generation X this is where it starts—with finding the right house for a young family.
Of course the biggest factor will be a home in a good school district so these buyers are scouring search engines with school names as the keywords and asking all their friends with slightly older children what they think of their kids’ schools. They take to Facebook to post questions about different schools and usually receive plenty of opinions in response. No longer is it enough to know about college matriculation rates and SAT scores, they also want to hear about the field trips the students go to during the year, the ethnic mix of the school, and the opportunities for parents to get involved in the school programs.
Besides the schools themselves, Gen X buyers also want a place versatile enough to house working parents and young kids who need to play, practice musical instruments, and have noisy sleepovers. Thus it is music to a Gen X buyer’s ears when they hear the words recreation zones. Houses that allow for quiet work and noisy play simultaneously are going to appeal to this age group the most. Basements or attics that have been turned into liveable spaces are standard issue recreation zones, but sellers can get creative by turning a large closet or pantry into a home office or media zone to appeal to this group.
These buyers are also looking for homes near family-friendly amenities—large grocery stores and parks are usually at the top of their list. Unlike the age group below them who want to live near a few bars or restaurants and can get by with the smaller corner grocery stories, Generation X would much prefer a one-stop shop to stock their household each week. If the house is also walking distance from a local park or playground then their imagination lights up with visions of how they are going to spend their future Saturday mornings.
Of course it isn’t completely about the kids for this demographic. The buyers are on the rise in their workplace so they need a home that supports the increasing demands of their career. In addition to a space for a home office with fast internet, they are also willing to pay handsomely for anything that eases their commute—be it nearby public transportation or space to park both of their cars.
Ultimately, Generation X has the most diverse needs within one family of any other age group. They need homes where young kids can co-exist with their busy professional parents without everyone going insane. That means homes with a variety of spaces—both indoor and out—that can adapt from one extreme to another.