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Study: Millennials wrestle with the American Dream of homeownership

Study: Millennials wrestle with the American Dream of homeownership

People talk about how the American Dream of one day owning a house is still something that Millennials want and are actively pursuing, and that still appears to be true, but for many Millennials that dream is dying, dead or undesirable.

The recipe for the Millennial American Dream goes something like this: owning a home, being debt-free, retiring comfortably, pursuing passion. But, according to Bank of the West’s annual Millennial Study, only 54% of Millennials believe that the American Dream is attainable, and nearly a quarter of Millennials say they’ve given up on their dreams of homeownership.

With prices on the rise, homeownership has become increasingly difficult for Millennials. The majority of Millennials are still renting or staying with friends or family, and only 42% own a home. According to the report, 46% of Millennials rent, 42% Millennials own, 11% stay with parents or family and just 1% stays with friends.

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Although typically seen as wanderlust infected jetsetters, homeownership appears to be something Millennials still want. The report indicates that 69% of Millennials anticipate staying in the same area for the next 10 years as they pursue things like stability, getting out of the rent cycle and having a place to truly call their own.

According to the report, these are the top three drivers of Millennial homeownership: stability; homeownership making more financial sense than renting; and wanting a place they can modify and make their own.

Stability is something 49% of Millennials in the study said would motivate them to buy a home; 47% said they would buy if it made more sense than renting; and 47% said they wanted to own a home to make it their own.

The sad thing is, many of the 42% of Millennials who have achieved homeownership regret it. According to the report, 68% of Millennial homeowners have buyer’s remorse, wishing they had been more prepared, had more money down or had better inspected the home before they bought it.

The main complaints Millennials have about their homes is that they are costly to maintain (20% feel this way) or they found damage after moving in (20% of Millennials also feel this way).

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