Silicon Valley is a unique market. We’re a hotbed of ideas, entrepreneurial start-ups and technological advances that are truly staggering. According to a Fortune report, several Bay Area companies (including Workday, Google, and Twitter) ranked in the top 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials. Even with high salaries, many worry about housing and the ever-increasing price of buying a home.
What’s Important to Millennials
The Urban Land Institute warns we may be at risk of losing our well-educated and tech-savvy workforce in coming years due to the high cost of renting or owning coupled with quality of life concerns. Other notable findings of the report include:
- 87% cite that air and water quality is a top priority
- 63% of Bay Area residents say that green space and parks are a priority, while 42% place a top priority to having private yard space
- 29% of residents walk or bike to their destinations
In a recent Bank of America/USA Today report, they polled 1,320 millennials about their financial attitudes and behaviors. To qualify respondents had to be between 18 and 34 years old. The report described this demographic group as confident yet chronically stressed about money. 21% were stressed out about paying rent or their mortgage.
So what does this all mean for the Bay Area housing market?
Executive Homes, Condos & Low Maintenance Yards
When you’re working 70-hour weeks, some millennials just don’t have the time or inclination for yard work. Most likely a good portion of their income is going toward their housing expense, with little left over for gardening services and other home-related costs.
Homes that have low-maintenance landscaping or common areas may be particularly appealing to millennials. For communities like Mountain View, San Jose and San Francisco, with their downtown districts, nightlife and transit hubs, condominiums and townhomes may be the perfect choice. They provide the benefits of homeownership with worry-free turnkey maintenance. That’s good news if you’re looking to sell a property with a small yard or patio with drought-tolerant and native landscaping.
Founded in 2007, Walk Score is a private company that provides a score to “promote walkable neighborhoods.” Here’s how RedFin categorizes the Walk Score’s scale from 0 to 100:
- 90 – 100 – Walker’s Paradise — you can run daily errands without the need for a car (think urban neighborhoods in SF or downtown Mountain View)
- 70 – 89 – Very Walkable — most errands can be done on foot like going to the grocery store or picking up dry cleaning
- 50 – 69 – Somewhat Walkable — some errands can be accomplished on foot but you’ll need some other mode of transportation
- 25 49 – Car-Dependent — to run most of your errands you’ll need access to a car
- 0 – 24 – Car Dependent — almost all errands need a car
The Multiple Listing Service has a field that includes a walk score. If you’re listing your home, be sure this information is available as it may be particularly important to prospective millennial buyers.
Curious about your home’s walk score? Check out the Walk Score website and enter your address.
Proximity to Green Space & Lifestyle Considerations
63% of Bay Area millennials say that green space and parks are a priority. If you’re looking to list your home, mention of nearby parks, open space preserves and hiking trails may be a big selling point.
Whether you’re a millennial looking to a buy your first home or you’re ready to trade up, I can help. I’ve helped hundreds of Bay Area individuals find the right place to call home.