Interesting article on Yahoo news.

http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/no-mcmansions-for-millennials.html

 

It sounds like a change for LA's with a residential focus. It promotes outdoor rooms, but much smaller yards and outdoor spaces.

 

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"They don't want to be in a cookie-cutter type of development.."

Does anyone, really?

 

"Consider designing outdoor spaces as if they were living rooms."

Mindblowing concept. I sense the 'S' word coming...

 

The author makes gen-y's sound like overgrown children, and maybe there's some truth to that, but I like taking baths and my dogs sleep on the bed.

 

I think we'll see two main trends in the coming decades among gen-y's:

1. More telecommuting and home businesses, and

2. A rekindled movement toward urban living, ie walkable neighborhoods with local amenities and services.

 

I dont think gen-y's care as much about their own yard/garden as much as good public space where they can see and be seen. As much as it seems there are so many granolla gen-y's toting their sustainably manufactured hemp carry-alls and hybrid wagons they still want 'climate-control' to some degree.

 

Nick: I agree with most of your points at least for me and my friends... being both gen Y myself and most of my friends also belonging to the catagory. I do believe however at least as far as Gen Y is concerned it really breaks down to specific people (much like any generation individual tastes vary). I work with plenty of people outside of design (in retail) where their dream is a job and a house in the suburbs where they can raise their children and have ample private greenspace.

 

The important thing to notice is that this was a National Association of Home Builders cenference (not exactly the vanguard of the design world). I think that the reason that they were presenting those boilerplate design ideas was more an outcome of who was putting on the event. The NAHB is basically a "we'll build whatever sells" organization so to me its pretty positive that the gist of the article was them saying that the market is shifting to demand more walkable urban development.

 

 

 

The need to transform or create quality suburbs is an important point that this article glosses over and for the most part ignores.  In my opinion, if the NAHB is as short-sighted and narrowly focused as the over-arching point of this article, they are missing a great opportunity to capture a large market.

 

My wife and I are in the process of trying to find a new house in the Denver metro area.  What we are finding is exactly in line with the point in the article that states, "A whopping 88% want to be in an urban setting, but since cities themselves can be so expensive...".  We currently rent in Denver, but would love to find something in the City, but the fact of the matter is is that it's too expensive to find a place in the City.  Where we are able to find something in our price range in the City, we would be making sacrifices that we are just not willing to make.  Poor schools for our daughter, crime, etc.  This is what is pushing us out to the suburbs. 

 

The article quotes a real-estate professional stating that "[Gen Yers] don't want to be in a cookie-cutter type of development. ...The suburbs will need to evolve to be attractive to Gen Y."  Guess what real estate professional.  There is a really short window between when individuals graduate from college or Graduate school and ultimately want to start building a family.  That whole suburban evolution needs to happen sooner rather than later.  It kills me that I have to sacrifice walkability to quality amenities (not big box, strip mall amenities) and neighborhood character moving to the suburbs. 

 

I think that real estate professionals and developers need to realize that, barring risking poor schools and safety concerns on the outskirts of cities where prices are less expensive, the suburbs are currently one of the only options that a large portion of 30 somethings can afford.

 

By ignoring the need to transform our suburbs with smaller houses, access to quality public transportation, character, etc., the NAHB is missing a great opportunity to capture that 88%.  I'm part of that statistic...

why not rent, until you can afford to buy,  in the place with walkability? I think the home mortgage deduction is go ing the way of the dodo, if it has not already, and it seems to me for the good of the future of the earth (less driving!) we  need to populate our inner cities - with renters!

The people of Orange County Virginia (extremely rural) were all angry that their children were not going to be able to afford a  plot of land and a new house because of the new three acre zoning..I was shocked - since when are we entitled to three acres of gods earth? And meanwhile, the cute little Main Street was going to the way of all Main streets..

Rent, my dear, rent! Don't drive....

I totally agree trace. It could be that I just really lucked out with some pretty cool landlords, but I just don't see the advantage to buying a house anytime in the near future. For years the mantra was that buying a house was an investment that couldn't go wrong...HA! Also the trend in people hopping from city to city for work is only going to increase, so whats the point of getting stuck with an unsellable house. For too long our society has been pushing the idea that you have to own your dwelling place to be considered successful.

I agree, and yet I disagree.

I currently rent a lovely little row home in Baltimore, that is just right for my lifestyle. I have enough yard in the back that I could have a cookout if I wanted and all my neighbors are cool Gen-Y'ers and we even have a bit of a communal space in the front of our places due to the secluded nature of our urban enclave. I can walk or bike to about anything I want.

But, I'd like to have some new floors in my kitchen and bathroom, and I need a new backdoor, and when my roof started leaking last winter it took my landlord 5 months to get around to fixing it, and I doubt it would have ever been fixed had I not recommended a guy to her. It's annoying that I can't go and make this stuff happen whenever I want.

That being said, she paid for the roof, and if I talked to her nicely she'd probably help with the cost of the flooring if I did the work. If I owned I'd be stuck with the cost of needed upkeep, but I'd also have the freedom to personalize my nest a bit more. I think some folks just can't stand the thought of being limited by someone elses design choices. Plus I'm not married and I don't have any kids. If I were and/or I did, then my current digs would not be suitable.

 

But this article does make me optimistic for a business idea that I've had. I hope this "trend" sticks around long enough for me to cater to it.

 

 

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