They don’t believe in the “American Dream,” but want to move on with adulthood.

The Great Recession has taught Generation Y a few lessons: Get by with the little you have, educate yourself as much as possible, and pursue happiness over money. And yet another new study suggests that they may be better at “adulting” than everybody thinks.

Bank of America reveals not all millennials are renting or living with their parents. Some are taking advantage of low mortgage rates and moving on with traditional adulthood by investing in starter homes in hopes of buying up later. One in three has at least started planning for a down payment.

“We talk to younger buyers every day about home ownership, and they understand the benefits it can have on their long-term finances,” said D. Steve Boland, consumer lending executive for Bank of America. “They’re excited to get started but are taking a thoughtful approach by improving their credit and building their savings.”

Why now?

Millennials are now the largest group in the housing market, and many are realizing they don’t need 20 percent or more as a down payment. (Half of first-time buyers believe they do.)

Most older millennials graduated from college at the peak of the recession. They have been in the workforce earning for a while now. Moving into your 30s makes you start thinking harder about your financial future, even if they are still juggling other priorities including student loans (32 percent) other debts (61 percent), and improving credit (47 percent).

“It’s encouraging to see millennials thoughtfully prepare to enter the housing market,” says Scott Haymore, head of pricing and secondary markets at TD Bank. “With today’s affordability programs, owning a home doesn’t have to be a dream, it can be a reality.”

Home loans are still dirt cheap by historical standards. Most millennial homeowners have mortgage rates of five percent or lower. This generation, at least those who can plan and save;  is now lucky to inherit the mistakes of their parents and grandparents.

I thought they were lazy and entitled

The stereotypes aren’t holding up, at least when it comes to finances. Millennials may be drowning in student debt, but many of this generation have learned to budget the way their grandparents did. They also know how to use technology to their advantage to stay on top of their money. Half of millennials check their budget once or more per week. Almost 60 percent of millennials do this by relying on a banking/financial app; Compared to only 38 percent of Gen Xers and 24 percent of baby boomers.

They also know how to stretch a dollar. They go out twice as often as Gen Xers and three times as much as baby boomers, but they still spend less monthly on dining, retail and entertainment compared to other generations.

They’re using all they’ve learned over the past decade to cultivate smarter spending and saving habits. And their home purchasing plans are no different.

“Millennials are looking for the ‘right now’ property, not the ‘forever’ home,” says Katie Scire, a Redfin agent in Washington, D.C. “They have a five- to seven-year time horizon because they know their lives will change.”

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Joe Pye

Joe Pye

Associate editor

Pye is the associate editor of


homebuyers, millennials, real estate, save money

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Article last modified on February 16, 2018 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Millennials Figure Out The Housing Market - AMP.