When it comes to life on this side of the lake, there are few neighborhoods in East Dallas that still retain much of their character like Lochwood. Located on the north east side of White Rock Lake, hugging the borders to Old Lake Highlands and the L Streets, this neighborhood is delightfully hilly, with long stretches of greenbelts that curve around creeks, huge parks, and great neighbors. And it’s no wonder that, with the still bordering on affordable real estate in this neighborhood, Millennials have been searching for the right place to claim their first home.

We’ve seen our share of flips in Lochwood, one of the few remaining somewhat affordable neighborhoods inside the loop, and though we’ve easily fallen in love with them, there’s something to be said about knowing when to stop “updating.” Need an example? Check out this cute Lochwood ranch listed by Lauri Ann Hanson and Aimee Schreiner with Dwell Partners Realty at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate.

“Located in one of East Dallas’ best ‘under the radar’ neighborhoods, Lochwood, this three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath, recently remodeled home is a perfect starter home,” Schreiner said. “It’s within walking distance to Lochwood Park and close proximity to White Rock Lake, so you can enjoy all that East Dallas has to offer right at your fingertips.” 

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NAR’s recent generational survey uncovered some really interesting trends. For starters, more and more Millennials are eschewing urban life and heading for the burbs, where they can afford to buy a house. Though Millennials contributed the largest share of home buyers in 2017 at 36 percent, a shortage of single-family construction has kept aspiring homebuyers from making the move. Additionally, larger numbers of households are living a multi-generational lifestyle, with more younger Baby Boomers buying homes to house their adult children and their own parents. Even Gen X households are buying homes with the intent of having their parents under the same roof. 

Now that many Millennials have started to pay down their staggering student debt, more of them are starting families. According to NAR’s report, the share of Millennials with at least one child continues to grow. But for many Millennial households in America, their desire to become homeowners combined with slow wage growth and high housing costs have pushed many out of larger cities and toward the suburbs. In fact, 52 percent of Millennial homebuyers bought larger and more affordable properties in suburban locations. 

In fact, Thrillist just published a piece that speaks to this trend: “State of the Suburbs: Dallas.” Forced to look in every nook and cranny for a home they can afford, Millennials are now turning their eyes toward the close-in suburbs that might not get as much attention as the master-planned communities in Collin County, such as Duncanville, DeSoto, Garland, and Grand Prairie.  

Of course, a lot of these trends speak to life in Dallas, which has a very upwardly mobile workforce and a lot of Millennials. However, are we seeing a run on suburban living? We asked some of our most-trusted Realtors to find out. 

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Plenty of data has shown that Millennials have been eschewing homeownership more than previous generations. That trend may now be reversing according to data from HomeLight, a company that utilizes complex data analysis to better understand real estate markets across the country.

“Millennial is a broad term, but when we look at our data, we are seeing more homebuyers in their thirties,” HomeLight spokesperson Matthew Proctor said. “That’s a lag compared with Baby Boomers and other generations who were buying closer to age 26 or 27.”

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Erin Seeds with her boyfriend, Eric, and their two dogs, Snoop and Bowie.

As more and more Millennials are priced out of what would be considered typical “starter home” ranges, long-term renting has become customary for an entire generation. But finding a great apartment with everything you want and need — and at a suitable price — is the modern day trial of Job. 

That’s part of the reason why Erin Seeds launched Apartment Fit. Though she was born and raised in Dallas, Seeds moved off after graduating high school. When she came back, all she wanted was to find a reasonably priced apartment for her and her two dogs. 

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Watauga’s 76148 was named the hottest ZIP code by Realtor.com. (Map: Google Maps)

Is it the year of the affordable suburb? As more Millennials search for single-family homes with affordable addresses, more and more suburbs with short commutes and great prices are catching on. So we’re thrilled to see some lesser-known neighborhoods get attention as Realtor.com has named Watauga’s 76148 as the nation’s hottest ZIP code for the second year straight.

“Millennials are the largest generation in U.S. history and they are flexing their muscle when it comes to the housing market,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. “Increasingly, the hottest housing markets are the ones that appeal to millennial preferences, and right now the standouts are relatively affordable suburbs with local ‘it’ factors such as hiking trails, great restaurants, and nightlife. With the largest cohort of millennials turning 30 in 2020, we can expect these types of areas to stay in demand in the years to come.”

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You could say that either Politico didn’t look at the Lone Star State closely enough, or that we don’t have any mayors qualified enough to fit their bill.  And what exactly is that bill? Mayors who overcome the multitudes of negative dynamics facing our cities today. Who are these people, miracle workers? After you read the article, tell us what you think. I’m a little surprised they could not find ONE great mayor in Texas. But there definitely is a correlation between strong real estate markets and strong local leadership.

(And if that doesn’t make Dallas residents get off their butts to vote, I don’t know what will.)

All of these dynamic mayors are interesting people from diverse backgrounds — couple of Rhodes scholars in there — who are making their cities better places to live and buy homes. A few have higher political aspirations — as many have said our Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings did before President Trump messed up his plans. The thing is, all cities have problems and the mayor’s job is a tough one — balancing opposing voices, battling crime, violence, drugs and homelessness; attracting or creating affordable housing; spurring economic development and managing growth. Plus new battles have emerged since the presidential election, with immigration reform at the top. I think this quote from the profile of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who apparently has presidential aspirations, is almost a theme: (more…)

Not_So_Empty_Nests_Graphic2

We already know that, due to factors like job availability and housing affordability, Millennials enter the housing market later than any other previous generation. But a surprising number of 18 to 34 year olds aren’t just not buying their first homes, they’re still living at home.

Millennials represent the most diverse, best-educated segment of our society. They’re also the largest, making up nearly a third of the current population. But according to a recent study by ABODO, they’re also the most reluctant to leave the nest.

“This generation of 18- to 34-year-olds is more likely to be living with their parents than to be in any other living situation — such as cohabitation with a spouse or significant other, or living alone or with roommates — for the first time in more than 130 years.”

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Courtesy: Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

Baby Boomers dominate renovation spending. Courtesy: Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

Don’t be misguided by what you see on HGTV. The renovation market is not being driven by young couples out to feather their first nests. According to a report released by Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, Baby Boomers, motivated by changing accessibility needs, currently spend more money than any other generation on housing renovations – and will continue to do so over the next several years.

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