X Marks Their Spots

Generation Xers, along with their younger counterparts in Generation Y, are getting an early start toward homeownership.

July 25, 2000

Generation Xers, along with their younger counterparts in Generation Y, are getting an early start toward homeownership, according to the House/Works study sponsored by Owens Corning. The Gen Xers, aged 23-35, are already involving themselves in home repair projects, with 55 percent currently involved in some type of home improvement.

"We expected to find more continuity between these groups," says Jerry Oleshansky, marketing manager for Owens Corning. "But they are all very individual, which uncovered significant marketing opportunities."

Gen Xers noted that buying a house will be their most important major purchase they will make in the future, while purchasing cars was most important to Gen Y. Gen Xers tend to prefer classic ranch homes, compared to Gen Y's desire for homes that are "modern and cool." Despite their preference for classic homes, Gen Xers want their homes to reflect their individuality, and not material success, according to the survey.

Favorite projects for both groups include painting, staining, decorating, carpentry and woodworking. Nearly half (47 percent) of Gen X members are working on major projects in the home; women already updating bathrooms and remodeling kitchens while men are building decks.
Still young, both generations are looking to their parents for home improvement information, but 20 percent think that their generation is better at home improvement and repair tasks than its predecessor. Most do their shopping at big box retail stores, with 41 percent noting Home Depot as their primary source for materials. The survey respondents also predict that they will shop online more often in the near future. In all cases, it's the women who are doing the shopping.

"We're finding that overall, women are expanding their traditional roles in home improvement and repair," says James Carey, co-host of the "On the House" radio show. Sixty-three percent of Gen X women stated that they spend about 40 hours each month on home-related projects. The men of Gen X continue to enjoy and increase their participation in home repair and improvement projects, however. Fully 73 percent of Gen X males, along with 51 percent of Gen Y males, noted such in their survey responses.

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