“Latchkey kids” in their childhood, Gen X is now in their prime, seeking comfort and convenience at home. Learn about Gen X traits and what they’ll be looking for in their next home.

What is Generation X?

Generation X’s birth years are between 1965 and 1980 and include individuals aged 41-56. The term Generation X comes from their position sandwiched between baby boomers and millennials. The term Gen X was popularized by the 1991 novel, Generation X: stories for an accelerated culture.

Much smaller than their adjacent generations, Generation Xers are harder to define with less overarching stereotypes and trends than the baby boomer generation and millennials.

They have witnessed some of the world’s greatest advances, including space exploration in the United States and the invention of the computer, and are tech-savvy. However, they are not the social media generation of Facebook and Twitter like Millennials.

This generation is now in their highest earning years in the workplace, making them the highest earning homebuyers with a median income of $113,300 according to the latest NAR Generation Report. They are also the largest group of home sellers (25%) and bought the largest homes by size with a median of 2,100 square feet.

What is Gen X known for?

Members of Generation X are well educated, hardworking and tend to be leaders. This generation, which founded American companies such as Amazon and Google, is self-reliant, resourceful and independent. Gen X saw more women enter the workforce and pursue careers, so most couples are probably both professionals.

As independent individuals, they value a work-life balance and value informality. Home buyers aged 40 to 54 are also the most racially and ethnically diverse population, with 23% identifying as a race other than white/white.

How would you describe Gen X?

The proverbial “middle kids” of America, the generation is also known as Baby Busters, 13th generation or the MTV generation. Spending less time in the spotlight and news cycle than their Baby Boomer parents and Millennials or even Gen Z, this generational cohort is often overlooked or forgotten.

On their resume you may see that they have a “work hard, play hard” mentality, value humor and value diversity. Gen X perceptions are shaped by their independence, meaning they value freedom and responsibility. They value meaningful work and the American dream with a home they can be proud of.

What Gen Xers look for in a house

Function over frills, yet expecting a sophisticated style for their home, Gen X’s home desires are fueled by their need to educate their growing children and care for older parents as well. Looking for flexibility to accommodate their large households, here are the elements they look for in a home.

Gen X Features Large interior

Large, opulent spaces

According to the National Association of Realtors Buyer and Seller Generational Trends for 2021, buyers aged 40 to 54 bought the second most expensive homes at an average home price of $305,000. They also bought the largest houses in size, with large families to accommodate.

As our biggest earners, they will most likely be new buyers, using their hard-earned equity to buy their dream home. Thanks to our current seller’s market, now is a great time for homeowners to cash in on rising home prices and buy a new home for less by insuring low mortgage rates.

Only 21% of Gen Xers had student debt, with a median balance of $35,000, meaning they have more disposable income to spend on their homes. Seeking a sophisticated, upscale aesthetic, they appreciate high-end appliances and finishes, and floor plan adjustments that meet their various lifestyle needs, including easy-to-use lighting, sound systems, HVAC, and security systems.

View of the courtyard that opens to the outdoor fire pit on the golf course

Universal design

These post-boomers have a wide range of needs as they care for loved ones of all ages. Therefore, houses built with universal design best suit their needs. Universal design, also known as barrier-free design, focuses on making a home safe and accessible, regardless of age.

Unlike specific on-site remodeling projects such as chairlifts and grab bars, universal design aims to go unnoticed and visually appealing with wider doors and hallways and open spacious floor plans. The Courtyard House in Huntington Beach is a great example of universal home design.

51% of Gen X home buyers have children under the age of 18 in their homes, meaning learning spaces and home play areas are a priority. But these former house-key children also take care of their older parents, so the spaces have to be suitable for them too.

Separate but connected family zones in the home best suit their needs, giving everyone the flexibility to enjoy their own activities. This translates best to homes with large communal areas where family members can gather, and areas that are also quiet and shielded from the busy household.

Homes with separate entrances and outdoor entertaining areas, including private patios, all offer the flexibility and zones that most Gen X buyers want.

New homes make multi-generational lives easier than ever 5Fb53Ce497B42

Multi-generational homes

Generation X are the most likely home buyers to buy a multi-generational home at 18%. The most popular reason for buying a multi-generational home is caring for their elderly parents (27%) and having children or relatives over the age of 18 who do not leave the home (24%) and move in again (23% ).

Multi-generational homes are a rising trend among renters and homeowners, due to their flexible floor plans and ability to easily accommodate adults of all ages under one roof. Common elements of multi-generational homes include separate guest quarters, en-suite bedrooms on the first floor, casitas and separate entrances for added privacy.

Every inch of space matters in a multi-generational home as they have to accommodate in-laws, boomerang kids, caretakers, and even extended relatives. The ultimate goal is to find a functional home that everyone can really enjoy.