Millennials and Boomers: 2 Halves of the Same Housing Problem

To a certain degree, Millennials and their Baby Boomer parents are two halves of the same housing problem which includes high prices, short supplies and few first time homebuyers. For 20 somethings, it’s all about getting them INTO a home.  And for Boomers, it’s all about getting them to move OUT of their home, or at least get the equity out of their homes (particularly when they need the money to supplement their sparse social security income).  So today, our host Hamid Hamidanchy spends this week’s show examining each half of this interrelated housing problem.

Millennials are certainly deferring “family formation” much later than previous generations.  And when they do finally start having children, will they still want the American dream of their own home w/a backyard for their kids and safe suburban neighborhoods to play in?  For now, it’s anyone’s guess.  That’s because they are NOT buying homes or even showing any interest in the process.  Instead, they seem to prefer renting in more urbanized areas with close proximity to shopping, entertainment and work. 
Some say it’s because they can’t afford to buy with the amount of student debt they carry and the unaffordably high prices of homes near the hi-tech, hi growth coastal communities where all the jobs are being spawned.  So will OC become like SF and NY where high paid young workers abandon the idea of home ownership  altogether and rent their whole lives instead?  Or will they be forced to commute or move to new job growth centers in less exciting inland areas? For now, they’re flocking to urbanized areas and seem apathetic to having kids, cars or homes (given what their parents went thru in the Great Recession).  For Millennials, it’s all about their lifestyle and the heck with equity and home ownership.
Boomers, on the other hand fought hard to buy their homes and they seem more determined than ever to stay put for as long as possible.  Partly, this is due to lower tax rates locked in before their homes doubled or tripled in price.  But mainly it’s because they plan to stay, work and live longer than any generation in history and that means they are NOT ready to quit and move to some retirement community to live out their lives playing golf like their parents did.  Like their children, they are deferring moving to the next stage of life and this means fewer homes opening up on the market for their children to buy. And a tighter market means a higher priced market, which also acts to keep Millennials from moving in.
So what are the boomers to do?  Particularly when they stop working?  If the studies are right, they will have far less money saved than they’ll need if they live to be 100 and far fewer pensions to count on as well.  So maybe they’ll stay in their homes and draw from the substantial equity they’ve acquired as housing has hit all time highs thru FHA approved programs like REVERSE MORTGAGES.  Discover the rules put in place by the FHA to protect borrowers of these unusual new products  including age limits (62) and the amount of equity you can tap (up to $625,000)  And discover how these may be the answer for both ends of the spectrum…a way to keep Baby Boomers in their homes thru the end of their life and still leave a home and some equity to their children when they finally start their delayed family formation.  Only on Orange County’s only community radio station, www.OCTalkRadio.net.

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