They’ve gone to the dogs.
Image by Alexandr Ivanov/Pixabay.
With dog memes eclipsing cat memes in popularity, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that millennials love their “fur children” with the intensity of a thousand suns. In fact, according to one recent study, this deep dog love is affecting their housing decisions. This past July, SunTrust Mortgage surveyed millennial homebuyers (aka adults between 18 and 36 years of age) and found that a third cited a better living situation for their dog as their main reason for buying a home.
Building equity and acquiring more living space were the only reasons overshadowing the urge to make life more comfortable for their dogs. What’s perhaps more interesting is that fewer millennials listed marriage and children as the main need for a home than those who had dogs as their reason — suggesting many millennials are prioritizing dogs sooner than they’re getting married and having kids. So, by the numbers, 19% said children were their main priority for buying a home, while 25% said marriage, 33% said dogs, 36% said building equity, and 66% simply wanted more space for themselves.
Dorinda Smith, the SunTrust Mortgage President and CEO, isn’t all that surprised by these findings, telling PR Newswire, “Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving home-buying decisions. For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; home ownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation.”
With millennials who haven’t yet bought a home but want to, this trend is even higher: 42% attribute their canine friends as their main influence when it comes to finding a house. When you look beyond the tired stereotype that millennials are lazy and unmotivated, it’s easy to see how these trends evolve. Highly educated and struggling to make ends meet in a flagging economy, millennials are practical, choosing the short-term responsibility and unconditional love of dogs over the staggering expenses of babies and life-long commitments.
As a parent to one Chihuahua mutt, I can wholeheartedly agree with the other dog devotees surveyed. Being able to afford a mansion so my pup can chase a tennis ball down long, ornate hallways is currently my top priority.