By Kaitlin Guither
Generation Y, Better Known as the Millennial
“Entitled” and “Tech-obsessed” are just a few words that are far too commonly associated with being a millennial. Whether or not business owners and older generations choose to acknowledge it, millennials are now the largest and most powerful demographic in the country, making them a key asset to most any market. A better understanding of these 75 million individuals could mean the difference between success and failure for your product or service, but we’re here to talk real estate, so here are a few things millennials tend to look for when deciding to buy a home:
1. Open Interiors
Sounds cliché; most every 21st-century buyer wants that “open floor plan”, but millennials see it as more of a make-or-break when buying a home. The most social generation needs an environment where they can, well, socialize. A kitchen that opens up into both a living and dining area create the best space for entertaining. Separate formal dining rooms are apperaring much less frequently on buyers’ wish lists with the rising popularity of families congregating and entertaining in the kitchen area.
2. Affordability…Serious Affordability.
The American Dream of owning a home is still alive and well for most millennials, it’s just that with an average of $30,000 in student debt bearing down on them, homeownership seems like a far-fetched fairytale. As the most college-educated generation (aka most experienced with student debt), millennials are quite frugal when it comes to making major purchases. Instead of taking out a loan for the biggest house money can buy, they place a higher value on affordability and convenience and are willing to sacrifice the size of the home and major upgrades in order to avoid becoming house poor by mortgage payments and utilities.
To build even further on the affordability notion, millennials look for ways to save money in a home before even deciding to purchase. They want to see energy efficient appliances, an air conditioning unit with a long life ahead of it, and a great home warranty to protect them from major issues.
3. Less Maintenance
These working class individuals are spending less and less time at the house and more time on the job. In order to best utilize downtime and maximize time spent with family and friends, millennials want to live a low maintenance lifestyle at home.
- Laminate wood floors or faux wood tiles are extremely popular as they are easy to clean and very durable.
- Ventless and electric fireplaces are a stylish, functional alternative that have almost pushed wood-burning fireplaces completely out of the picture.
- Small but thoughtful outdoor spaces are ideal. Millennials value a great outdoor space for entertaining but don’t necessarily want 2 acres of land to mow on their Saturdays. Screened-in porches or large patios are ranked high on buyer wish lists.
Millennials want to be connected–all the time. Some will even consider cell phone reception or internet providers as a factor when making a home buying decision. They definitely aren’t walking into a home looking for where they’ll plug in a landline, but they might be excited to see built-in USB outlets that only draw energy when a device is plugged in. If you’re showing a home with a wifi programmable thermostat, SELL IT…any sort of smart home technology is sure to catch the attention of young buyers.
If you’re thinking about buying your first home, reach out to us! We promise it’s a lot easier to own a home than you may think!
Sources: Realtor.com, UpNest, U.S. Census