Janna Ferguson: I definitely understand the value of equity – this is one of the reasons I did choose to buy a home rather than renting. However, what is attainable for our generation is significantly different that what was attainable for previous generations, so our understanding of how much that will actually be able to help us in retirement is changing. I also can’t help but think about the difference in world view between ‘boomers’ and millennials and how many resources went in to building an infrastructure that is less relevant to the next generation. What happens if ‘boomers’ are unable to sell their homes, or the property values decrease more than anticipated? How much equity is there in an infrastructure that is no longer relevant? I think we need be be very thoughtful in future city/suburban planning to try to make development relevant and sustainable to future generations (post-millenial).
Lauren Folkerts: I think millennials see the value of equity similarly to Boomers, but as a generation we have significantly less access to home ownership. With the dramatic increases in the cost of homes, increase in the cost of higher education, and the decrease in average earnings, saving for a downpayment is just not realistic for many millenials.
Marty Brodsky: I think Millennials, by and large, see homeownership as the stabilizing force that it is. I mean, it’s obvious to us, as well, that paying a $1,500 mortgage is better than that same amount in rent. And we think about the cash-flow possibilities of an extra room. But how to get the down payment? That’s the real problem. The only way I could come up with it was by going in with my significant other. So, as it turns out, buying a home often also means committing to a long-term relationship with either a partner or possibly friends, diluting the equity waiting patiently for us at retirement.
Sara Taketatsu: I think the value is well understood, but some of the traditional ways of building this equity have become harder to attain or are less appealing.