A stereotype has developed that Millennials don’t make for great neighbors. Statistics show that the new generation of home buyers are the least likely to know any sort of basic info about their neighbors. Even names and occupations of their neighbors is information Millennials may be totally unfamiliar with.
This, of course, is in stark contrast to what Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers hold near and dear about their neighborhoods. What is perhaps most curious of all is that Millennials actually value living in their preferred neighborhood more than the past two generations ever did. So, are Millennials really ruining the friendly neighborhood mentality, or just redefining it?
Willing to compromise
Across the board, Millennials seem to care far less about the two-car garage or the renovated kitchen, and much more about the neighborhood as a whole. In comparison with the previous two generations, Millennials are far more likely to compromise on a valuable feature of their home if it means they can live in their desired neighborhood.
Likewise, the physical aspects of the neighborhood seem to have the most bearing on Millennials when deciding where to live. For the most part, Millennial home buyers are less concerned with getting to know their neighbors, as they are worried their home and property surrounding it is well maintained. In other words, you don’t have to invite them over for dinner, so long as you trim your hedges and clean up after your pets.
Values are changing
Many want to criticize Millennials for not being the neighbor someone else would like them to be. Although it seems prominent now, this is an issue that will likely be short lived. Consider that as more Millennials buy homes, the expectations that take precedent are those of the Millennials. A neighborhood full of people who aren’t bothered by anti-social neighbors won’t lead to any dissatisfaction among the families living there.
Proximity matters less
In the age of the internet and constant entertainment, leaving the house isn’t the only way to keep yourself busy. It’s also not the only way to get in touch with friends. People might rather spend an hour on FaceTime with their college roommate than go out of their comfort zone to meet new people in their neighborhood.
Whether you’re opposed to the change or indifferent to it, Millennial culture is clashing with neighborhoods, and that likely won’t change in the near future. In fact, the stats about the Millennial outlook on neighborhoods may be much more indicative of the generation’s tendencies as a whole. Prioritizing the way things look and seem above the substance of relationships and interaction lines up with much of what is said about the generation as a whole.