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If you’re an urban, Millennial renter like myself this may come as a shock, but apparently, a modest, yet growing cohort of our generation actually own homes. The most recent data on Millennial homeownership comes from The Urban Institute, which calculated the rate at 37 percent back in 2015. That percentage is expected to increase this year as more Millennials wed and combine their purchasing power. 

Raised on Trading Spaces and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Millennials are embarking on home renovations like never before. Home Advisor’s State of Home Spending 2019 report reveals some interesting insights on Millennial renovating habits. Read on to find out how Millennial homeowners differ from their older counterparts when it comes to home improvement.

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1. They are all about that return on investment.

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Millennials are obsessed with ROI, which makes sense given that we came of age during the housing market collapse of 2006. More than 20 percent of Millennials listed financial ROI as their primary reason for renovating, compared to just under 10 percent of Gen Xers and 8 percent of Boomers. If we’re going to forego avocado toast and coffee to save for a downpayment, we want to make damn sure that once we own a home, we’re making smart money moves.

2. They want their homes to look good for the ‘gram.

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Millennials and their grandparents share an affinity for mid-century modern furniture (thanks, Mad Men), but these generations also favor aesthetics and design when it comes to home improvement. Boomers, on the other hand, prefer ‘modernization,’ but are less concerned about whether or not their beige bathrooms will rake in likes on Instagram.

3. They are doing their research to compare costs.

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If you’ve ever gone to Target with the Amazon app open on your phone, comparing the prices of every item in your cart, you can probably empathize with budget-conscious Millennial homeowners. To research project costs, 77 percent of Millennials scoured the internet, 64 percent checked big-box stores, and 30 percent asked a previously used contractor. “Millennials are consistently using multiple methods to research the costs at a higher level than other generations,” reads the report. Since we haven’t yet reached our peak earning years, we’re being more selective about how we spend our reno dollars.

4. They favor less expensive bathroom renos. 

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A starter home is not a forever home, and that means Millennials are far less likely to invest in a full-gut rehab. Instead, they’re looking to less expensive bathroom renos to boost ROI and keep up with the Joneses Instagram influencers — if only a little bit. Surprisingly, bathroom renovations proved to be the most popular home improvement project across all generations for the second year in a row. 

5. But kitchen renos came in not-so-distant second.

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Debunking the theory that Millennials don’t know how to cook, kitchen renovations amounted to 17 percent of Millennial renovation projects. Home Advisor points to the “dominance of the kitchen as the entertainment hub of the home,” Millennial interest in health and wellness, and of course, our desire to increase ROI. We want our money back, but we also want to make some gluten free scones in a functional kitchen!

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