Ask a listing agent today about who is the most connected, the fastest to respond and most likely to text back their replies and they will say Millennials, hands down. The generation born after 1983 has more and more electronic resources at their fingertips, a huge database of searchable information, vast social networks and a variety of interests such as online games instead of outdoor ones. This generation of home buyers wants a wide range of amenities and options when purchasing a home, combining smaller sizes with high tech features.
Downsizing the square footage and steep climbs
Always popular with older buyers, ranch style homes that do not have extensive stairs are a big hit among Millennial buyers too. According to a recent survey by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Millennials enjoy single level living space, similar to most apartments and condos, as well as ranch style homes. Whereas their parents may have been partial to a huge 3,500 square foot home, few Millennials want the extra size. As young buyers, they lean toward a more manageable, smaller size home.
Eco friendly and high tech
A survey by BH and G also found that nearly 70 percent of Millennials preferred a home decked out in a tech friendly way. Many buyers use their smart phones to monitor their properties while off site, including interior lighting, temperature controls and security cameras. In addition to integrating apps into their homes, more buyers look for energy efficient windows and appliances, as well as newer heating and cooling units that will reduce their utility bills as well as leave a smaller footprint on the environment.
Transitional Space and re-zoning formal spaces
Fewer homes today showcase a formal, separate living room as did many homes built before 1990. The trend of maximizing the space to create better flow for socializing and conversation means more open spaces and fewer separated rooms. Even better, Millennials enjoy having rooms easily accessible from the kitchen, and this is high on their list of preferences. Younger buyers prefer to use spaces according to their interests and aren’t afraid of having multi-purpose rooms used for non-traditional use, such as a dining room for an office.
Move-in ready versus fixer- uppers
The survey of 2013 general housing trends from ERA Home Buyers indicates that buyers today also seek fewer cheap, bargain prices that come with fixer-up type homes. 2013 buyers are looking to set up a new home on Day 1, without having to put in a lot of fixes or tear outs. The flip side for this is buying at a premium price point. Having a move in ready home over bragging rights on a great deal is now essential, as is free time for socializing instead of home improvement projects.
Milliennials are making their mark on this generation of homes. With smaller homes sizes, free flow spaces, more ranch floor plans and eco-friendly options, Millennials seek to find balance between home ownership and social engagement. Easy to maintain, high tech homes with high efficiency amenities are the key elements Millennials seek when purchasing a property.
Jennifer Kinzle is a Realty Biz News Contributing Writer