Tiny homes are all the rage.
Almost as big as food trucks.
Maybe your community has even hosted a tiny home event. Millennials are flocking to these mini homes with great interest.
And you know what else they’re doing?
Migrating (back) to small towns and cities. At one time there was concern over Millennial flight. Most young generations naturally gravitate to the big city, more opportunity and excitement. But this generation is surprising everyone.
They’re living at home longer and when they do move out, they’re looking for quirky, deeply enriching experiences. They don’t seem to want a large cookie-cutter urban experience. Even when they choose to remain in a large city, they are carving out their own niche–a place of their own.
Millennials Help a Town Overcome a Century-Old Stigma
One mayor who recognized this used a panel of young people to help her town overcome a tragic history. Erwin, Tennessee has been battling a terrible stigma for over a century. The town hung an elephant that killed its trainer during a parade in a public execution in 1916. With the guidance of the next generation, the mayor created the Elephant Revival Festival to honor the elephant and raise funds for a local elephant sanctuary.
The mayor has worked with the board of Millennials to turn Erwin into a town where young people want to live by creating more outdoor festivals and other draws.
According to Realtor.com, Millennials make up 30% of the homebuyers and in some areas, it’s as much as 50%. They’re not a generation to be overlooked.
What Are Millennials Looking For in a Community?
Millennials love experiences and entertainment and will spend money on both. When they do move into communities, they’re looking for neighborhood hangouts like comfy coffee shops and micro breweries. They’re also looking for affordability, good home value, and affordable cost of living. Small towns often provide that.
Daren Blomquist, vice president of ATTOM Data Solutions a company that has compiled a list of places popular with young homebuyers, says, “When we see increases in home sales to millennials in places like Lima, Ohio, or Pottsville, Pennsylvania, what it doesn’t necessarily mean is that there is a broad migration of millennials to small towns. But what it does mean is that there are millennials who are willing to move to small towns, likely because they are finding jobs there and they are finding a much more affordable cost of living, particularly when it comes to housing.”
What’s the key to retaining or bringing more Millennials to your town?
Encouraging businesses that provide activities they desire, maintaining affordability, and tearing down barriers to entry for new businesses. Creating a good job climate is also a good start. But most of all, becoming a town Gen Y can get involved in. By being one in which their voice can be heard in shaping it into the kind of community they want, you’ll attract more of this large generation.
And one more thing…good Internet and cell service are a must.