Apparently, so — even more than marriage and kids.
young couple with French Bulldog
Credit: Getty

You're already well aware of all the reasons dogs are incredible, but what you may not have known is just how high millennials are ranking them on the definitive life list of important things. According to a new survey by SunTrust, one-third (33 percent) of participants consider having improved yard space for a dog to be a huge factor for putting down a mortgage payment.

As the press release notes, there were only two other contributors that edged out dogs: the overall desire for more space in the home (66 percent), and the chance to build equity (36 percent).

According to Dorinda Smith, SunTrust Mortgage CEO and President, millennials are taking the market by storm: "Millennials are trending toward homeownership," she said. "Demand among millennial-aged, first-time homebuyers is robust, and we expect them to continue adding strength to the housing market."

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And dogs are major in this decision-making process. Perhaps most interestingly, 25 percent of survey participants were motivated by marriage, and having kids was listed at just 19 percent. "Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving home-buying decisions," said Dorinda Smith, SunTrust Mortgage President and CEO. "For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle."

Sounds to us like millennials are buying houses for their dogs and holding off on both kids and marriage. Hmm, now we're wondering how these lifestyle choices connect to stress levels...

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