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Online Home Buying by Generation

There’s no question that the internet has changed the way people buy homes. The ability to research properties and neighborhoods, contact agents and sellers, do virtual walk-throughs, and even apply for mortgages online was the stuff of science fiction in recent memory.

This week, we’re looking at how home buyers of different ages use the web to find their homes, based on the National Association of Realtors 2019 Real Estate in a Digital Age and Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends reports. Home buyers surveyed had purchased a primary residence between July of 2017 and June of 2018, and the results were geographically weighted to reflect sales volume in varying areas.

As you may expect, the older the people surveyed, the less likely they were to have gone online in the process. But frequent use of the internet was not shown to make buying a home easier. Indeed, the younger folks seemed to have a harder time of it: 31 percent of older boomers (born between 1946 and 1954) reported no difficult steps in the process, while only 8 percent of younger millennials (born between 1990 and 1998) could say the same.

Another discovery: The older the buyer, the more satisfaction they reported with buying a home overall, online or otherwise. Perhaps least surprising: The most difficult step reported by all generations was simply finding the right home.

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