Do Millennials Want the Family Vacation Home?

Aug 21, 2018 | Land Transfer, Millennials, Trusts

Two Adirondack chairs on deck

Family vacation homes don’t seem to be as valued by millennials, as they were by previous generations.

Minnesota is a good example of a trend that seems to be developing in the U.S., where generations don’t seem to be in agreement on what is valuable for lifestyle, according to MinnPost’s in “The uncertain future of cabins in Minnesota.”  

For generations, people in Minnesota have known when vacation time is near, since families head for the many lakes in the state. However, that tradition may not last another generation, because millennials in their early adulthood are already making it clear that they are more interested in experiences, than ownership of a family vacation place.

Since vacation homes for the family are getting more expensive to buy and maintain, it is getting easier to book a place to stay easily and inexpensively through an online service.

The average lake home or cabin owner in Minnesota today is 68 years old.  They will likely age out of cabin ownership in the coming years. That’s a big transfer of land, say officials at the Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates. That’s up from 58 in 1999 and 62 in 2005. For many families selling the family cabin is a way to pay for end-of-life medical bills.

For others, the question is: do the kids or grandchildren even want to own the property or if it goes up for sale, who’s buying?

It’s more likely that the land will be purchased, and the old cabins will be torn down, only to be replaced with a far more expensive home on the property.

“Over the past few decades, lake properties have dramatically increased in value, making them harder and harder for the average person to obtain,” writes Cameron Henkel, co-founder of a lake property real estate brokerage. Supply is tight, so people must go even farther from metro areas, if budgets are limited.

If your family’s assets include a second home, don’t assume your children want to keep it. Planning for the future starts with a conversation among family members. Do they want to keep it in the family? Will they be able to afford to pay for upkeep and property taxes? Should it be placed in a trust?

An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances and may include a family vacation home that may, or may not, be wanted by the next generation.

Reference: MinnPost (April 27, 2018) “The uncertain future of cabins in Minnesota”