May 18, 2024

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Rent is for life, Millennials are pouring it into housework and decorating

Rent is for life, Millennials are pouring it into housework and decorating

Faced with increasing financial risks and uncertainty about the future, millennials have plunged into America's lands in a mad search for secrets and suggestions to upgrade the homes they rent.

For an entire generation focused on their present versus saving for a stable future that may never come, there is an industry ready to meet their demand: renovation, DIY projects and decorating.

Rent or buy?

This mindset reflects a harsh reality: Homeownership rates for millennials, the oldest of whom are in their early 40s, will exceed 50% for the first time in 2022. A 2018 Urban Institute report found that only 37% of millennials bought a home between 2018 and 2018. Those between the ages of 25 and 34, compared to 45% of baby boomers who were able to purchase a home at those ages.

“There has been a very large deficit in new housing construction for about a decade.”

In a 2022 Apartment List survey, a quarter of millennials said they expected to rent forever. Housing experts estimate that when it comes to home ownership, millennials are the least advantaged generation.

“Millennials have a completely different mindset about life in general than the previous generation,” creator Brigitte Müller, who a few months ago decided to share her apartment renovation journey with her 350,000 followers, told Business Insider.

As they review what's worth their investment, many Millennials prioritize what's right in front of them: their homes, even if they're renting. The reason is simply because they are invested in their present day and well-being.

This generation has often been ridiculed beyond compare, as being too frivolous to save for practical purchases. But millennials' housing woes go beyond personal spending habits, as they have entered adulthood at a difficult time for the local market.

Housing and loan crisis

“There has been a very significant shortage of new housing construction for about a decade,” explained Jim Parrott, a nonresident fellow at the Urban Institute who owns Parrott Ryan Advisors. He said the pandemic has exacerbated the low supply of new homes, sending demand and prices soaring. This supply shortage has particularly affected black Americans, who purchase homes at much lower prices than whites. “If we see the minimum level of home ownership becoming increasingly out of reach for renters, it disproportionately impacts those groups compared to everyone else because more of them are renters,” he added.

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The average interest rate on a 30-year mortgage is about 7%. But instead of reducing prices and demand, high interest rates have put many property owners on hold, preventing them from upgrading and making these units available to first-time buyers. “This is what has completely devastated the millennial generation, who in normal times would have been able to buy their first home,” Parrott said. “This pushes their timeline further because they have to save more money than they would have saved 20 years ago.”

Renewal through social

The desperation of being able to buy a home of their own leads most people to give up the dream of owning their own home early on, but without feeling like they have faltered, they focus on improving their living conditions.

In the same position as Mueller, there are many social media experts and other millennial content creators, or even hobbyists, who have built their own audiences — sometimes through a subscription like YouTube — publishing content, DYI guides, and tips and solutions for renovation and decorating. This is what Caroline Winkler did, who decided to make a change during quarantine.

Likewise, thousands of other accounts are popping up in a market that is now experiencing its own boom.

Others include Alexandra Gater, a Toronto YouTuber with more than 700,000 subscribers who posts videos about home renovations that are largely designed for small rental apartments. Her team went so far as to build a wooden arch for the kitchen entrance to a rental home.

DIY duo The Sorry Girls have amassed more than 2 million subscribers by frequently posting major renovations, like installing a custom glass room divider for a rental studio apartment.

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Hattie Culp worked as a full-time content creator documenting her upgrades to her family's rental apartment on the Upper West Side.

The role of the epidemic

Social media's growing appetite for rental renovation content reflects not only the preferences of a generation who grew up on home renovation TV shows, but also a growing demand for renovation guidance among renters who can't afford a home — or professional renovation help.

At the same time that the real estate market was spiraling out of control during the pandemic, people were spending more time at home. With the increase in savings accounts, people suddenly had the time, money and energy to improve their living space. Home renovations exploded.

And at that very moment opportunities appeared for an entire market. An example is the case of Benjamin Fix, a former plumber, who wanted to reach wealthier millennials who, however, cannot afford to buy a home of their own, but rent it in cities such as New York or San Francisco. In 2022, he created the company Sproos, which makes a patent that combines shower function with a mobile phone holder, aimed at renters and those who like to build their own shower. The brand quickly found a following of its own, being acquired by Urban Outfitters and the trendy New York home decor boutique Soonerly within a year of its launch.

standard

Winkler, a content creator in Washington, D.C., acknowledged that social media doesn't always reflect reality. “There's something about the Internet that I think affects the standards that people expect of themselves.”

Sometimes this pattern is positive. Zamora, the Los Angeles-based creator, noted to Business Insider that everyone follows the logic of “making our environment — no matter how temporary or ephemeral — better.”

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“In an ideal world, it would be pretty certain that renters wouldn't have to invest their time and money into their own spaces,” said Mercury Stardust, author of “Safe and Sound: A Renter-Friendly Guide to Home Repair,” which shares renter reviews. -Friendly repair tips online named Trans Handy Maam. “Many of us invest money in rentals because we try to make them feel like the warm, welcoming space we need in our lives. I believe this should be a universal truth, not something that only homeowners — who are now increasingly few and far between — can experience.

source: OT.gr