While young Millennials seem to have a preference for suburbs, they’re not the only ones. Singles of all ages are more likely to buy a home in the burbs, according to the results of a survey by national brokerage company Coldwell Banker Real Estate.
The company conducted a national online survey of 1,050 single homeowners in April. It found that 52 percent of singles chose to buy in suburbia rather than getting "bachelor or bachelorette pads" in urban or rural areas.
The reasons behind that preference may have a lot to do with finances — 53 percent of respondents said they bought a home because it was more cost effective than renting in their area, the company said.
Diann Patton, Coldwell Banker Real Estate’s consumer specialist, said in a statement that singles and first-time buyers, among others, "can afford much more house for their money than they may have been able to in previous years. Many are recognizing that a mortgage payment on a house can actually be the same or less than what they would spend on rent."
In an announcement this week, the National Association of Home Builders reported that smaller homes are gaining traction among buyers. That’s in contrast to attitudes during the housing boom, when many people bought as much house as they could afford. That mindset seems to have changed, at least among singles — 68 percent of survey respondents said they bought a home that was below their price range.
The desire to bargain-hunt extended to singles’ attitudes about distressed properties: 38 percent of men and 29 percent of women would consider buying a foreclosure or short-sale home, the company said.
At the same time, desire for indoor space took a backseat to modern appliances and outdoor yard space in singles’ list of preferences. Single homeowners also chose homes close to work and their family. More than half, 55 percent, commute less than 30 minutes to work or work from home, while 40 percent live less than 30 minutes away from their parents or extended family, the company said.
A 13 percent minority of single homeowners bought their home with another person. Of those, 49 percent purchased with their parents. Nevertheless, more than a third of single homeowners, 35 percent, bought a home out of a thirst for independence, the company said.
More women (27 percent) than men (18 percent) said that the number of bedrooms was the most desirable feature in a home, the brokerage said.
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