EXCERPT: Straight out of college, ready and willing to take on the world, and finally with a job in the field one wants—is this heaven, or is this just Washington, D.C.?
The nation’s capital has risen over the last few years as the number one most popular setting for Millennials, a destination that can help the younger generation launch themselves into the kind of lives they want to live, but there’s a trade-off to living in Washington, D.C. that’s only recently been discovered. As the fifth most expensive city in the nation, Washington, D.C. causes first-time homebuyers to have to put their lives on hold. That means waiting longer to save enough money for one’s first home, for marriage, and even for childbearing.
Despite the high number of Millennials who plan on purchasing a home in the future, only 25 percent expect to do so in the next two years with the majority (53 percent) expecting or planning to buy their first home after 2018, according to a study published in July 2015 by Apartment List. Millennials are roughly half as likely to own a home in Washington, D.C. than in any other part of the nation. The issue, of course, comes down to money—or the lack thereof.
Despite the trade-offs, Goodhart said, “Being in the city is great for Millennials because it has the lifestyle that they’re looking for. We’re seeing time and time again that Millennials are really looking to sacrifice space and really be in the mix and be able to walk to everything.” She described Washington, D.C. as having the convenience of major cities (e.g., walkability, shopping, nightlife) as well as parks and community-centered activities. “You’ve got the urban life, but you’re not totally penned into that concrete jungle,” she said.