Monday, January 17, 2011

Generation Y: No McMansions for Millennials

...Not that we could afford them! According to a new article from The Wall Street Journal, Millennials are favoring the urban or urban-connected suburbs and are avoiding housing developments. Might I say it? Are millennials slimming down from even the American average 3BR/3Bath? The article raises some interesting points: "Here's what Generation Y doesn't want: formal living rooms, soaker bathtubs, dependence on a car."

Being in the middle of this generation, and at the precipice of buying a house in the next 2-4 years, I've spent a lot of time weighing size and utility of my dream house. With IKEA's strategies for organizing small spaces, I'm hoping our generation can be a generation of moderation and efficiency. Ever since I saw the floor layout plans of Lowe's Katrina Cottages (small units easily assembled, created in response to Hurricane Katrina for the Gulf Coast) I've imagined a 700-1100 square foot "Key West" style bungalow with cubbies and closets and cabinets everywhere. The bed lofted over a desk "college style." Simplicity and efficiency. However, my husband, in love with the Spanish Villa style prefers the 2200 square foot, second story open balcony over a courtyard style inner floor, with a three car (or more) garage. While the Villa obviously would match the stuccoed plaster and concrete houses of the Floridian lifestyle, I challenge him at every point over why on earth we would need so much space. (He blames the need for two floors of space on my cats. Point of contention.) I think our generation will be one of lofty whims and budgeted moderation, new electronics and utilities and energy efficiency. Although, I agree with WSJ, "The Great Recession and its effects on young people's wages will affect how much home they can buy or rent for years to come."