Millennials and Baby Boomers are the two biggest homebuying age groups today, and two new rankings show the 10 best U.S. metros to find starter homes and the 10 best for finding a forever home.
Both homebuyer groups tend to prefer smaller homes, less than 2,000 square feet, in walkable communities. Beyond that, Boomers typically prefer homes with less upkeep, while for Millennials, budgets and proximity to jobs are top of mind. With that, Realtor.com finds that Lake Charles, La., is the best in the nation for finding a starter home, with a median list price of $235,100, 20.7 percent lower than the national median. On the other hand, Punta Gorda, Fla., is tops for Boomers seeking their forever home. The median list price there is $280,000 and it was recently found to be the fastest-growing retirement town in the nation.
There's a reason why the ranks of both forever homes and starter homes are swelling exponentially right now. Millennials have waited longer than previous generations to settle down and buy homes, not always by choice—student debt and high home prices delayed pulling the trigger. But now that they're getting married and having kids of their own, more and more are settling into their first homes, making them the nation's largest group of buyers. And the biggest chunk of them are just now hitting their 30s!
On the other end of the spectrum are the retiring or downsizing Baby Boomers, searching for homes where they can age in place. Many are holding onto their careers longer, and 1 in 3 has yet to reach age 65. So they're just now hitting the market en masse.