Generation Gap

by Karen Briscoe
June 21, 2017
Father’s Day was just a few weeks ago and 4th of July is around the corner!  Holidays are often a time when family members get together and can catch up over burgers on the grill.  It is also an opportunity to open up conversations about housing needs.  The generation gap strongly impacts the real estate industry.  The Baby Boomer generation represents the largest population in the United States and the Millennial generation is the first projected to pass them up.  Generation X lies in the valley between, referred to as the “middle child.”
Although Millennials are now the largest age cohort in the United States, only a relatively small fraction of this group has reached the median age of 32 for first-time buyers. What this means is that the market will experience a substantial uptick in the number of first-timers as the millennials approach their early 30s.  More frequently my Baby Boomer friends are calling me to help their Millennial children buy their first home.
Throughout history, it has been a common practice for the older generation to help the next generation purchase their first home. Some help with the down payment, others co-sign the loan, and still others purchase the property outright and either “gift” or “rent” it back to their child. I know my parents helped me so that I could participate in the American dream of home ownership.  And my husband and I have in turn done the same for our son and daughter when they were ready to venture into that milestone of adulthood.
It can be helpful too to discuss options with the family financial planner.  This advisor could illustrate how purchasing and investing in real estate in this manner can be a means to transfer wealth.  And perhaps it is time to have the conversation for the parents to right size and sell the now too large family home.  In many cases the children handle that transaction if the parents have become affirm or passed on.
In terms of population numbers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, those born in the Baby Boomers time frame count 76 million, those in Generation X 55 million and 66 million for the Millennials.  Time does not stand still though.  As Baby Boomers age and pass away, the Millennials continue rise in count. This occurs as immigration adds more numbers to its group than any other.  The Millennial population is projected to peak in 2036 at 81.1 million. As a professional real estate agent, we are experienced in helping bridge the generation gap in housing.
Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy as well as their team of agents at HBC Group at Keller Williams are delighted to work with Millennials, Baby Boomers, as well as other demographics.  They are happy to be of service in the Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland and Washington, DC market place.  Whether selling or buying a home, please contact via the means most convenient for you:, 703-734-0192,
Karen Briscoe is Principal of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group (HBC) and author of "Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day". She is an Associate Broker in Virginia, a Certified Luxury Home Market Specialist, and a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors. Karen began her real estate career developing residential lots with the Trammel Crow Company in Dallas, and in commercial real estate with The Staubach Company in the Washington, DC Metro area. Karen has a Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University and her BA from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – her hometown.
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