When the word “downsizing” comes up in conversation, you may most often think of retired empty-nesters moving into a smaller place after all the kids have grown up and moved away. But in the last year, younger families have broken this mold by jumping the gun by a few (or many) years. Recently, it’s not just older Americans abandoning their McMansions in the suburbs in lieu of a smaller home.
Although quantitative data on this practice isn’t readily available yet, the benefits of downsizing when the kids are still young are apparent and often discussed. Some families sell their suburban houses and move to urban centers, where they’re able to live with a lot less driving in a smaller townhome or apartment. This allows young downsizers to capitalize on their location for a more convenient lifestyle with more financial breathing room to save money, while also possibly spending more on day-to-day expenses that come with living in the city.
This new trend reverses a widely held previous ideology on American housing values, which was born initially during the 1950s. After World War II, there was an exodus of American families into something new – a new concept called the suburbs. The suburban lifestyle became an integral piece of the ubiquitous American Dream. The house outside the city, with its white fence and affluent environs, seemed to quickly become a hallmark of success.
Additionally, there’s the possibility that young people who currently rent apartments in the city will still decide to move out to the suburbs – but without the huge square footage that dominated new suburban housing developments in the last decade. Some developers are focusing instead of energy and space efficiency, two ideals which have the propensity to gain traction among people in Generation Y as they go to buy their first homes.
As happens with trends, though, only time will tell before it’s really apparent what this new generation of home buyers will look for in their first houses. But as is evident from the previous decades, the one thing that seems to be constant in American life is change. After more than 50 years largely lived in the postwar, baby-boom tradition, maybe Americans will decide it’s time to chase a new version of the Dream that has captivated generations of people. The 2010s could mark the beginning of a new post-recession era in housing with new ideals that dictate what it means to be successful in the United States.
Alyssa Howard is a writer for Moveboxer.com. Moveboxer makes moving easier. Moveboxer matches people up with reputable movers, provides a utility cancellation tool, helps people change their address, and connects people with mortgage, storage, boxes, supplies, and car transport. Also look for Moveboxer on Facebook and Twitter.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.