Contrary to popular opinion, millennials do actually buy homes. With that said; however, this particular population is looking for certain specific features and amenities in a primary residence, and those qualities vary from what Gen-X or the baby boomers sought out years ago.
But with more young people entering the housing market, it’s more important than ever to track the trends driving new home sales. Here’s what you need to know in order to attract this generation of younger buyers to your property and seal the deal.
Smaller Is More
First, be aware that regardless of income, millennial buyers overwhelmingly prefer a smaller home with more amenities and features over a larger home with fewer amenities. Many buyers in this demographic saw their parents and grandparents fall victim to the recession. As a result, they tend to be more financially conservative and do not want to be maxed out when it comes time to buy a home.
Generally speaking, millennials are looking for fewer embellishments. They are not typically looking for the high-end materials and traditional details that would usually increase the price of a home. For instance, while custom moldings were once an indication of craftsmanship and status, they no longer hold much allure for younger home buyers. In fact, some millennial buyers might even wonder what’s hiding behind those moldings.
This generation has moved away from the neutrals preferred by their older counterparts and is now looking for bold accents and the industrial wow of metal. If you are thinking of repainting or updating your home, keep those industrial preferences in mind.
Millennial buyers prefer open, multi-functional floorplans and interiors. This group likes to live casually and socialize. Therefore, they are not necessarily looking for a formal dining room or living room. Multifunctional spaces that can accommodate exercise equipment and extra seating for last-minute entertaining take on more importance as well. Since a large percentage of millennials also work from home, multifunctional spaces that can accommodate that type of lifestyle tend to be appreciated.
Well Connected and Green
Homes that are technologically equipped and well connected tend to be the most attractive to millennial buyers, especially if the focus is on high tech ways to keep a house energy efficient and green. Also high on the wish list for millennial buyers is construction with reclaimable and renewable materials, hsuc as glass and bamboo.
Millennial buyers are also interested in finding homes that will allow them to easily use all of their devices. Features such as energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and programmable LED lighting are popular, and connected technology for HVAC and other systems also tends to do well. Think smart security systems, smart locks, and smart cameras.
Millennials are also looking for homes that are low maintenance, since as a group they prefer to spend more time on hobbies and interests than caring for a property. Millennial buyers are not usually looking for a lot of outdoor space. In fact, they usually tend to prefer less outdoor space. A small terrace or balcony will suffice just fine.
Centrally Located and Ready to Go
Shorter commute times are another important attribute millennials are hunting for. But that doesn’t mean homes closer to urban centers are preferable, in fact according to the National Association of Realtors most recent survey, younger buyers are making more purchases on single-family homes outside of urban areas. Where their parents and grandparents once drove the migration to the suburbs, millennials are – to some realtor’s surprise – actually doing the same.
It’s essential that homes be mostly turnkey to attract millennial buyers, and since they prefer shorter time frames, they are looking for a home that is ready to go. The more a seller has already done to a home, the more attractive it will be.
Compared to previous generations, millennials do not tend to view homes as much of a long-term investment or status symbol, the way their predecessors once did. Instead, this buying group looks at buying a home as an important purchase for living in and enjoying life now.
Keep these preferences in mind as you prepare your home or property for the market, and you’ll be ready to connect with this burgeoning sector of homebuyers by giving them exactly what they’re looking for. For help marketing your property and devising a sale strategy, team up with an experienced First Team agent in your area.
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This guest post is written by Emma Bailey, a writer in the greater Chicago area who covers personal finance and homeowner topics for millennials. She enjoys reading novels by humorists, cooking at home and watching indie movies with her rabbit, Anthony Hopkins.