Published on February 19, 2021

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Photography by David Papazian/Getty Images

Life—and home buying—is all about compromise. And according to a new study, millennials, the largest group of first-time buyers ever, are willing to give up some pretty great amenities to purchase their first home. Just as how House Hunters contestants are made to choose between a two-car garage and a paved patio rather than look at a fourth listing, first-time buyers are willing to sacrifice for the sake of taking the plunge into home ownership. 

Choosing the right assets to let go of can reveal great needles in the haystack—particularly in areas with higher inventory. We scoured the America at Home Study to find out which made the most sense. 

Pass on the Personal Backyard or Balcony

It turns out that while mowing the lawn and waving to the neighbors looks nice in films, it’s something buyers are readily leaving behind to fully commit to investing in a place. More than half of those polled said they’d give up a private yard or outdoor space in order to buy within their budget. Another plus: Ditching the outdoors can help narrow your search.

You Don’t Need a New Build

In the survey, participants were asked a series of questions in two waves, once in April and again in October. Over those six months, people let go the idea of a shiny new house and embraced finding an older one with character—to the tune of a 12 percent increase in responses to the polls. Retro is back, baby!

Consider Moving Farther Than Across Town

You’re about to buy a building! Go big or go home—literally. If you’re willing to shake up your entire life by taking on a mortgage, it might also be worth relocating to a new city. With remote working as the new standard, you don’t need to pay Manhattan rent when you can dial into a Zoom call from Philadelphia instead. Per the report, nearly half of participants agreed, with 41 percent listing transitioning to a more rural area or a new destination as a fair trade-off—a notion that then increased to 46 percent in the second wave of the survey. If there’s any kind of silver lining to the past year, it’s that new owners can catch a place they really want to buy rather than squeezing a small starter option for everything it’s got.

 

Our Winter Renovation issue is here! Subscribe now to step inside Leanne Ford’s latest project—her own historic Pennsylvania home. Plus discover our new rules of reno.

 

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