Part of the American Dream is to one day be able to buy your own home. But for one generation who is known for bucking trends, their dreams don’t always include homeownership.
Over the past 10 years, renting as a housing choice has grown significantly, especially among millennials. In fact, in at least 20 cities nationwide, renters are the majority population.
In the Bismarck area, however, homeownership still rules but renting is growing in popularity.
“What I see trending is people not settling down until they’re in their early 30s… very easily ..to be a property manager now or to own property, you need to be pet-friendly,” said Jesse Clooten/Owner of Clooten Property Management.
Clooten says some of the advantages of renting – you can take a vacation anytime, there’s no lawn to mow or snow to move. But the disadvantages are you’re not building equity. Still, the appeal not of being tied down is not lost on millennials.
“They’re working class, they have full-time jobs, they have careers and they focus on that first before they settle down with a family,” said Clooten.
But don’t count out home-buying yet. One real estate agent says the market for buying homes in this area is hot.
“In the winter we find that if you’re a very serious buyer it’s a hot market because there’s not a lot of people who want to go out in 30 degrees below weather to move their entire family,” said Melanie Kitzan-Morel/Real Estate Agent at Excel Realty.
She says the advantage for the home buying market has been nice for people who want a steady interest rate. When you’re renting, she said you’re not building equity…
Whereas monthly house payments go toward the principle of your house which becomes an investment in your future.
“I know the market for rentals has changed quite a bit and they offer more options for people that are pet-friendly but I always feel that buying is really your best option just because you’re going to have something in the end,” said Kitzan-Morel.
On the other hand, Clooten says a large chunk of his 1-2 bedroom apartments is rented out to millennials.
According to Census Bureau estimates, 63 percent of Bismarck area housing units are owner-occupied, so rentals still have a way to go before they challenge the majority.
Still, whether your interest is in renting or buying, the market is strong for either choice in Bismarck.