CELINA — What exactly is a millennial? It depends on who you ask, but the Census Bureau says it’s anyone born between 1982 and 2000; and that the group — 83.1 million strong — even outnumbers what we saw during the Baby Boom era.
As they grow up, more adult millennials are leaving their parents’ spare bedrooms and the urban core. In fact, some developers are courting millennials because they believe the group will drive the next big housing boom.
The generation gets a lot of ribbing, in part because studies show that the most common living arrangement for the young adults in the group is at home with their parents. But a number of people in the age group are finding their own places, and they are not all in the urban core.
Ted Wilson, principal at Residential Strategies, says millennials are showing signs of being similar to the generations that preceded them.
“I think, ultimately, once they start families and raising kids, they’ll be pursuing the best school districts […] in the suburbs, […] just like the rest of us,” he said.
Earlier this year, 33-year-old Tyson Fujikawa settled down in a new development called Light Farms in Celina with his wife, baby, and twins on the way.
“I wasn’t even thinking of living in the suburbs with wife and kids [earlier in my life],” he said.
Tony Ruggeri, the co-CEO of Republic Property Group, said that’s not uncommon among clients he talks to.
Ruggeri is a millennial himself -— barely. “I think I’m on the top end of millennial, he said. “I was born in 1982.”
He’s overseeing the project at Light Farms, which has produced slick videos touting amenities geared for the younger set that is going through life changes, but is still clamoring to be active, local, and very connected as a community. Along with a wide selection of sports facilities, Light Farms highlights its on-site honey-harvesting operation and a regular farmers market.
“We try to embrace all the local vendors.” Ruggeri said.
They also offer a whole book of social gatherings that run the gamut from hip hop concerts to ice cream get-togethers, kids’ story times to singles nights and beer tastings.
Fujikawa was sold.
“For millennials, it’s really important, because we are into social networking and having all these connections,” he said.
Ruggeri said developers see a social shift in communities.
“I think the days of driving into your garage and closing the door and staying inside are gone,” he told us.
Indeed, Fujikawa said.
“We’re in a cul-de-sac, and there are seven homes in the cul-de-sac, and we know all seven neighbors — the husband and wife and their kids,” Fujikawa said. “And almost every night, people will go outside and put out their camping chairs and let the kids play, and the neighbors all just hang out.”
Fujikawa said, in just a matter of months, his family has become close with about a dozen others just like them.
That circle may only get bigger. An article in USA Today revealed that a third of millennials are planning to buy homes in the next 3-to-5 years.
“I think it’s massive,” Ruggeri said.
He says developers are being very responsive to the desires of millennials, because as America’s largest generation grows up, they will represent enormous growth potential.
“The millennial buyer will make up the majority of the buyers in the end of Light Farms project,” he said.