Many 20- and 30-somethings are now bravely entering the real estate markets, equipped with 4-year college degrees, full-time jobs, and a clear memory of what the 2008 Recession looked like for their families’ financial plans. Some have settled for jobs that pay much less than they deserve and for apartments that charge much higher rent rates than they can afford; others have raised the white flag and simply gone back home to live with their parents indefinitely.
The overwhelming trend, as TIME has reported, is that Millennials just haven’t been buying houses like their parents were — you know, back in the good ol’ days where a college education could be paid off after a few years of working boring summer jobs.
But a new report from Realtor.com and Bloomberg shows that Millennials are starting to buy houses instead of just renting them. The odd thing is, Millennial home buyers aren’t looking to move into urban areas, as one would expect.
City living has long been associated with younger residents, but the majority of Millennials are staying a safe distance away from places like New York City, L.A., and Chicago.
Instead, 45% of young home buyers in the first half of 2015 moved into Des Moines, Iowa; Provo, Utah; Madison, Wisconsin; and Grand Rapids, Michigan.
These aren’t exactly regions hoppin’ with activity, and the houses themselves may not be the newest models on the block. But when you can pay $500,000 less for a home in Des Moines compared to a home in San Francisco, a couple bathroom repairs and kitchen remodeling projects are worth the time and money.
One thing is clear: Des Moines may not have the same energy that New York City has, but it’s definitely a lot more exciting than Mom and Dad’s basement.