Millennials are now the most frequent home buyers, and more of them are motivated by dog ownership than anything else—including marriage and children. A third of millennials say they’re buying a house because they own dogs, a fourth because they’re getting married, and barely a fifth because they want to have kids.
This comes as no surprise to Alex Doubet, the CEO and founder of Door, a flat-fee real estate company. “I know from experience we’ve had clients do this,” he says, recalling a particular case. “They had three dogs, no kids. A married couple.”
Cost is a factor in today’s economy, Doubet says. “Kids are expensive, right? Millennials, you see a lot of headlines, a lot are having trouble finding jobs, the economy’s tough for some.” The bottom line: “Dogs are less expensive than kids, inarguably.”
Another demographic factor is age. “If millennials are buying a lot of houses driven by their pets,” Doubet notes, “a big reason is there are a lot of younger millennials who just aren’t quite old enough to be having kids yet.”
Finally, Doubet refers to the Instagram factor. “Cute puppies, cute dogs, cute cats, whatever it might be – they make fantastic Instagram photos,” he points out. “There’s nothing quite like a back yard with a cute puppy in it to drive those likes, and millennials are certainly the social media generation.” So a millennial may buy a home, put a dog in the yard – and take a selfie.