While the adage, “first comes love, then comes marriage,” may ring true, for many millennials, “first comes home, then comes marriage.” According to a new SunTrust survey, nearly half of millennials (ages 22-38) who have been married say they and/or their spouse owned a home before marriage, compared to only 35 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 55-73).1
“People are choosing from many different paths and reaching common life milestones at a wider age span than before, changing when they decide to purchase a home,” said Sherry Graziano, mortgage transformation officer at SunTrust.
The survey found additional trends across generations:
Putting Down New Roots
Today, it’s increasingly common for both parties in a relationship to own a property when entering a marriage. However, some individuals not currently married would still prefer to start fresh with their significant other and sell both properties before tying the knot. According to the survey, 25 percent of unmarried women and 21 percent of unmarried men said if faced with this decision, they would prefer to sell both places and buy a new one after getting married.
When it comes to motivations for buying their first house, millennials seem to have been driven by convenience more so than their older counterparts. According to the survey, millennials who have owned homes were more likely than their older counterparts to cite proximity to work (29 percent, versus 18 percent of Gen X and 18 percent of Baby Boomers), schools (20 percent versus 12 percent and 10 percent), and leisure activities (16 percent versus 8 percent each) as primary motivators.
“It is easier to live life to the fullest – whether you are buying a home, downsizing, or selling – when you are financially confident. While everyone has different goals, across generations and lifestyle choices, it is important to make sure your financial habits are supporting, rather than preventing, the moments that matter most to you,” Graziano said.
1 This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust from April 18-22, 2019 among 2,010 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
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