As many millennials seek a lifestyle of ease, the same can be said for their housing search.
According to Cate Cymbalisty, regional sales and marketing director at Village Green in Southfield, Mich.; Carole Garson, apartment marketing specialist and property manager of Wynwood Apartments at Capital Management Properties in Cleveland; Mollie Neale, executive vice president of GEIS Property Management, LLC and GEIS Residential Management, LCC in Cleveland; and Jared Zak, director of property management at Howard Hanna Property Management in Cleveland, millennials look to apartments to satiate their living needs. All represent local properties.
“There is not a ton of responsibility when you own an apartment,” Zak said. “You don’t have the maintenance needs and you don’t have the same things that go along with (owning) a home. We have a lot of people who are attracted to that ease of living. At the end of the day, it’s the ability to pick up and go.”
Garson added, “The trend today (for millennials) is they don’t stay in the same job for years and years, so apartments give them the flexibility to be close to work and in the thick of things. The trend is just about not looking for something super long-term.”
Neale agreed, adding millennials want to be able to focus on their careers and being social. Apartments allow them to meet in the middle of those two goals, she said.
“This group of individuals love the flexibility, so if their career takes them into a different direction, such as an out-of-state job transfer, they are not tethered by homeownership, rather just a lease which has a definite expiration date,” she explained. “These renters enjoy the convenience of logging onto a resident portal to pay rent or submit a maintenance request.”
Millennials are a big fan of amenities, the professionals said. And just like millennials themselves, the amenities they look for are varied.
“Millennials enjoy walkability to their workplace and area attractions, such as restaurants, hot stop happy hours and grocery shopping,” Neale said. “They also appreciate living in a property that offers amenities and conveniences, such as package acceptance, dry-cleaning service, fitness centers, dog parks, recycling and 24/7 maintenance.”
Cymbalisty said millennials look for stylish apartments that don’t break the bank. A plethora of amenities both inside and outside the unit is an added bonus, she noted.
“In the interior, some of the most important things to them is having washers and dryers in unit, and then I would say, wood flooring and those types of finishes like white cabinetry,” she said. “They always like to see some sort of technology incorporated too. And outdoorwise, in Cleveland, it’s nice to have a pool. But another big thing is the amenities that bring people together, like outdoor kitchens, bocce ball courts and firepits.”
Zak agreed, saying, “They’re looking for common space. They’re looking for the workout facilities and pools. They’re just looking for what can make life more convenient for them. Also, they’re looking for pet-friendly buildings. Today, being pet-friendly isn’t an option. You have to be.”
Along with amenities, millennials look to apartments over buying a home for many reasons.
“The conveniences of apartment living is the shorter-term commitment,” Cymbalisty stated. “Millennials are scared of that longer commitment because they are still saving to be able to afford something like that. The convenience of maintenance is a big thing too. When getting a home, those are the costs no one is really prepared for.”
Zak added many millennials are hesitant when it comes to home buying because of the unstable real estate market.
“That has since recovered (since the recession), but I would just say that you have millennial buyers who might still be a little apprehensive,” he said. “But again, the biggest thing is the ease of living. Making it as easy as possible will attract someone to an apartment.”
And since millennials tend to move a lot for work, Garson said apartments are perfect for that over a home.
“If they are entering a new market or a new city, apartments are a great option to spend six months to a year getting to know their city before purchasing a home,” she said. “It’s just a good way to get their feet wet in the market and jump into a home from there.”