I took my last final on a Thursday, drove home from college on a Friday and started work on Monday. My intention was to move back in with my parents for several months while I shored up enough money to get my own apartment and ensured that my new job was viable beyond the first few post-college weeks. Typical, right?
Then, one day, just three weeks into my stay, my mom came home, surveyed the living room, and sternly requested I take my shoes up to my room. I started apartment hunting later that day and moved out a week later.
This would never happen today. A more likely scenario: the adult child develops no real plan to move out, let alone to buy a home of their own at any point in the future. And those shoes on the floor? They surely would have been scooped up by the parent and deposited in the offspring's bedroom.
And that's the problem.
"If millennials are self-absorbed little monsters who expect the world to come to them and for their parents to clean up their rooms well into their 20s, we've got no one to blame but ourselves - especially the moms and dads among us," said Time.
This epidemic has created a staggering trend of millennials living at home well into adult age. According to a new Goldman Sachs Report, "There are three million more young adults living at home than at the peak of the housing bubble nine years ago," said Money magazine. "Parents, you might want to hold off on those plans to renovate the basement: Your kid's not moving out any time soon," they said. "Although the job market is better and the economy is improving, parents still can't get their young adult children to leave the nest. That's not going to change any time soon, even though the economy would really benefit from more millennials moving out on their own, forming households, and buying homes."
Some millennials are buying homes. Just not in the numbers that were once expected. Will that change at any point in the future? "As the oldest members of this generation turn 30 this year and the economy continues to recover, that demand should begin to emerge more strongly," said the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in their Field Guide to Millennial Home Buyers. But, "Sidelined by high unemployment, student loan debts, and tight credit, millennials have a different outlook on home ownership and long-term investment than previous generations," they said.
Did buying a home cease being the American dream sometime between the Gen X and Y and Millennial years? Doesn't the idea of owning something that's all yours sound like the absolute best thing that could ever happen to you ever for all time? Are grown people really OK with someone else putting their shoes away?
Failure to launch
Remember the 2006 movie, Failure To Launch? The frustrated parents of Matthew McConaughey's "Tripp," a 35-year-old perennial bachelor who's still living at home, hire Sarah Jessica Parker's "Paula," a "professional interventionist" to get him to move out and move on with his life. The filmmakers were definitely onto something here. Who knew this fun little romp would be so foretelling?
Today, it's a failure to launch world.
When it comes to work, millennials get a bad rap for being entitled, unwilling to work their way up, and/or disrespectful or dismissive of elders and of protocol and of hierarchies. Is it true? For some, certainly.
And those same stereotypes about millennials in the workplace may be extending to the real estate market for those who are interested in buying... someday.
"Three-quarters of first-time home buyers would rather hold out for a place that will meet their future needs than buy a house they can afford now, according to a new Homebuyer Insights Report," said Time. "Most prospective buyers - 56% - are holding off because they don't think they can afford ‘the type of home' they'd want to live in."
This ties in to the underemployment and heavy student loan debt that are counted as primary barriers to millennial homebuying. Today, those who can't afford to buy a great place of their own, don't. Especially when it means giving up free dinner and laundry service. But is the effort really being made to get that job that would mean a nice salary and the opportunity to make it in the "real world?"
Or are mommy and daddy making it a little too cushy at home?
"Millennials don't seem keen to fight a war of personal autonomy on the home front, with three-quarters of those who have moved home during the Great Recession expressing satisfaction with their living arrangements," said Forbes.
Which means it's up to the parents to make the first move. If you're looking for a way to break the habit and a girlfriend-for-hire scheme is not feasible, Huffington Post's "9 Hilarious Ways Parents Have Tried To Get Their Kids To Move Out" will give you some great ideas. Our favorites: buy them their own kitchenware and move their stuff out for them.
Or, make good on what millennials already expect: that they'll get financial help from parents when it's time to buy. The Homebuyers Insights Report also found that: "Plenty of millennials expect at least some support from their parents. Almost one in five are expecting Mom and Dad to chip in for the down payment, while 15% think they will get help with their monthly mortgage payments.").
If you're not keen to lay out all that money, just think about how much you'll save on groceries once your child moves out. And laundry detergent.