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How housing crisis has impacted Generations X and Y

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Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate released the results of a national survey of 18-35 year old Americans that reveal that the impact of the housing crisis has given rise to two of the most knowledgeable generations to become homebuyers,

Generations X and Y, which account for an estimated 103 million Americans. More than three-quarters (77 percent) of the Gen X and Y Americans surveyed believe that they have become increasingly knowledgeable about homeownership due to increased media coverage that has magnified real estate topics throughout the past six years.

The survey's findings show that these two younger generations of potential homebuyers are not deterred from home buying and believe owning a home is a key indicator of success (75 percent). Furthermore, they are willing to do their research and save in ways that may surprise those who believe the values of Gen X and Y have strayed from those of their parents, including taking a second job and moving in with mom and dad.

"Every generation faces defining economic events that alter their collective perspective," said Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. "'The Greatest Generation' was shaped by the Great Depression and baby boomers were impacted by the oil crises throughout the 1970s. Gen X and Gen Y experienced their 'coming of age' moment during the largest housing market downturn in American history. As such, these generations believe that the details, risks and rewards of home buying are integral to their planning.

Other findings from the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate survey:

• Not the "Me" Generation. The majority of Gen X and Gen Y survey respondents (71 percent) understand that homeownership is not something they deserve; rather it is something they must earn. Nearly all those surveyed are willing to adjust their lifestyle to save for a home by eating out less (62 percent), working a second job (40 percent) or even moving back home with their parents (23 percent).

• In the know. Sixty-nine percent believe that the recent housing downturn has made them more knowledgeable about homeownership than their parents were at their age. Gen X and Y members appear to be doing their homework before making one of the biggest investments of their lives. For those surveyed, interest rates (58 percent), home prices in a desired neighborhood (59 percent), and the ability to secure a loan (51 percent) are the top areas to research before buying.

• Homeownership is the new bling. Gen X and Y are not blinded by flashy signs of success; 75 percent believe owning a nice home is a fundamental indicator of success over taking extravagant vacations (12 percent), owning an expensive car (9 percent), or owning designer clothing (5 percent).

• First things first. Gen X and Y want to make sure they are ready to own. Sixty-nine percent believe someone is ready when they can afford to buy while also maintaining their lifestyle. For 61 percent of respondents, the "readiness indicator" is when they've landed a secure job.

For more information regarding the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gen X and Y homeownership survey, visit www.bhgrealestate.com.

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