If I had a quarter for every time I heard how different things used to be or what it was like back in someone else’s day, I’d be rich enough to afford my own city loft! Though it feels like we’ve talked the subject to death, the fact remains: things are very different for millennials than they were for our parents and grandparents.
Going to university is no longer the only way to get a good job. If we do go, we don’t have to walk a mile in the snow to get there, and we often can’t afford to live the way our parents lived when they were our age. “Back in the day” — before the cost of living crisis, when work opportunities often required us to travel out of the city and when having a big family by the age of thirty was the norm — finding a place to live was vastly different than it is now.
Millennials no longer own homes as early in life, often have to travel far for work, and often don’t have children, so their living situations have changed in many ways. Let’s explore how millennial living is changing.
Co-living describes a situation in which adults share a home with people outside their family, with housemates. Millennials choose to try co-living for many reasons, and some may surprise you. There are obvious reasons: living costs have risen significantly since our parents first went house hunting, and co-living allows working adults to share these costs.
Millennials are far more self-aware than previous generations and realize they’d prefer to have company rather than live alone. Social anxiety and safety concerns also contribute to people choosing co-living rather than living alone. More money coming into the home means that everyone living there can afford far nicer accommodations in more desirable neighborhoods. Extras like a pool and a doorman may become an option where they never were before. A simple search online for “co living Los Angeles” or “co-living New York” will show just how many options are available to those who live like this today. Co-living is changing the face of apartment rentals and sales in America today.
Centralized Living and Working
While work opportunities may have taken us far from home or the city in the past, centralized employment opportunities are now far more prevalent than those requiring traveling out of town. Living in the suburbs makes little to no sense if you work in the city center, so more millennials are looking for smaller places to live closer to their jobs. Living close to where you work is not only practical regarding the extra effort you have to put in to get to and from work but also from a financial standpoint. Time is money: instead of spending hours on a bus or train, live close to your workplace, walk or take the bus for short distances, and save yourself both. Millennials are also mindful that they share their cities with hundreds of thousands of other people looking for space to live. The more conscious we are when choosing the size of our home, the more room others have to look for opportunities.
Renting not buying
The fact is that buying a home nowadays is often far more of a challenge than it was for our parents. Many rental agencies are assisting with co-living placements and rent-to-buy schemes to help combat that, but renting is almost always the first stop along the trail.
Economic distress in many parts of the world has destabilized many markets, which has a knock-on effect, resulting in money not going as far as it used to. Renting a home as a millennial — whether single, part of a couple, or a bigger family — is a practical way to find a safe and well-maintained home where you can live and work. Rentals come in at several price points, so there are options for people working all kinds of jobs. From college students just starting to couples looking for a bigger home to accommodate their growing families, renting provides safe options at a reasonable cost.
Renting a home also means that your commitment only needs to last as long as your lease. If, for any reason, your home is no longer suitable or you are unhappy with anything about it, you can choose not to renew your lease and find a new place to rent instead. Selling property is much more time-consuming and difficult than simply switching to a new lease and moving.
Modern living is very different from what previous generations experienced and told millennials it would be. Luckily for us, changing with the times is one of the strengths of our generation, so meeting these challenges head-on is no problem. Co-living, renting, and living in cities to be close to our jobs is how we make modern life work for us, instead of living alone, buying in the suburbs, and commuting hours to and from work each day. And to be honest, that’s how we like it.