Is it true that millennials aren’t buying homes for children or for marriage… but for dogs? According to a survey by the SunTrust Mortgage, yes! Millennials make up the largest group of homebuyers currently, and this trend may be influenced by their furry friends. This may seem a little ridiculous, but it starts to make sense when you consider the costs of owning a pet in an apartment or condo, and how millennials overall are waiting to get married and have children until later in their lives.

Apartment Obstacles

 It is not uncommon for apartments and condos to require a pet fee if you’d like to have an animal, and that’s if you’re lucky enough to live where they are allowed in the first place. Fees can range anywhere from $100-$400 just for one pet. Plus, many places have restrictions on what kind of pet you can have, such as only allowing cats or no dogs over 25 lbs. This can really make it tough for a dog owner to afford their pet while in an apartment. Even if someone finds an apartment with an affordable fee, it might not be an ideal situation for their pet. Apartments very rarely come with any outdoor space, and if you work a steady job, your dog will probably be cooped up inside all day. For big dogs especially, the space issue can be a real deal-breaker for pet owners.

Millennials Just Love Dogs

 It may also have something to do with millennials as a generation. Studies have already shown that millennials consider their pets, especially their dogs, as members of the family more than any generation before. And as millennials have gotten older, we’ve noticed that they tend to push their major life events further ahead, choosing to focus on their education and their careers before marriage and children. Having a pet can be a perfect compromise for companionship without the daunting commitment of a lifelong partner and the responsibility of having kids. Plus, even with the apartment fees, pets are far cheaper than raising a family.

Why Houses?

 It’s not so hard to understand why millennials don’t enjoy housing their pets in apartments. But why make the switch to houses? Here’s where millennials start to get a little more traditional. Millennials enjoy the opportunity to build equity while giving their dog a backyard to run around in. Nicer housing developments may also include trails and dog parks which really appeal to dog owners.

It’s true that more millennials are purchasing houses because of their dogs. But it’s not quite so strange once you consider the economic benefits and the value millennials place on their pets. They’re part of the family.