This entire article seems written like home-buying Millenials are some kind of strange and rare sub-species that only be looked at with a gaze of wonder and amazement, like seeing some dramatic force of nature for the first time.
I’m sorry if this comment seems snarky, but so much of the media seems to have absolutely no frickin’ idea how anybody that doesn’t reside in a big city lives.
Yes, people buy houses. Yes, they outfit them how they like. There are, in fact, multiple multi-billion dollar home improvement chains with thousands of locations that cater to people buying stuff for, and improving, their houses.
“Home ownership isn’t just about owning the home so you can sell it later and get a new one — it’s also about enjoying the actual home that you’re in.” Errr… duh? The number of homeowners that carry out improvements primarily for resale value with metaphorical dollar-signs scrolling across the screen is actually quite small. Yes, when deciding on a project, the resale value of the improvement is often a consideration, but just “wanting something you’ll enjoy” is usually the main motivation.
The idea that you get to (indeed, must) buy your own appliances if your home doesn’t have them is so commonplace, you calling it out with “ Imagine being able to pick out your very own fridge.” reads to this suburbanite like reading: “imagine the sun rising from the East with startling regularity every morning”
And few people buy their first home with the intention of staying there for the rest of their lives; I have no idea why you would have thought that to begin with.
The White Picket Fence in the Suburbs with a dog, a cat, two cars, and 2.3 children, and a few trips a year to Home Depot to add something they want to their houses is how millions upon millions of Americans live, and not just some rare event to be gawked at on lousy reality TV shows.
And the idea that a primary motivator for buying a house is merely to watch it grow in value is clearly a perspective grown from renting an apartment in the big city while watching entirely too many nearly-identical home improvement shows on reality TV, as opposed to talking to people that actually live in houses they own. Over here in real life, a primary motivator for buying a house is because it’s yours. A primary motivator for doing home improvement projects is because you’ll enjoy the results. You can do a very large pile of things to your own house that would be absolutely impermissible in a rental. Choosing your own appliances is a tiny, miniscule, corner of that. (Indeed, most homeowners view appliance replacement as a necessary (expensive) chore, not something something with a dramatic payoff in happiness, unless it’s a part of a fun renovation, like a kitchen re-do. Few people buy a washer and dryer or water heater for fun; you do it when the current one don’t work no ‘mo.)