Millennials have been pretty slow to embrace homeownership up until recently, for a variety of reasons. This demographic – also referred to as ‘Generation Y’ – have faced some unique obstacles and are living in a much different world than generations past. From mounting student debt to living through the brutal recession eight years ago, millennials have grown up though times that haven’t exactly made homebuying that affordable.
But guess what? Millennials – which include those born between 1980 and 1995 – are predicted to be buying homes by the masses over the next few years. This should come as no surprise given the fact that this group comprises the largest segment of the buyer market in the US.
With rent rates going through the roof all over the country, and the desire to finally settle down and start a family, Millennials are sort of being pushed into homeownership.
And when they finally do enter the market, here’s what they’ll be looking for in homes.
Smaller, Low-Maintenance Homes
Millennials think differently than generations past. These days, they’re dipping their toes in the market by first looking to smaller-scale homes that are more affordable than their larger counterparts.
Unlike previous homebuying generations, Generation Yers want smaller yards that are easier to take care of. The majority of young homebuyers grew up with parents who would spend all their free time doing stuff around the house. But this group is different – they don’t want to have to dedicate their free time to slaving over their homes, and would rather spend their weekends enjoying themselves instead of mowing the lawn or mopping floors.
Generation Yers pretty much grew up with the “green” movement embedded in their brains. So it’s no surprise that they’d want to live in a home that’s as energy-efficient as possible. Not only will it help shave off a few bucks at the end of the month on utility bills, it’ll also help them reduce their carbon footprint. They like to do their part to help the environment, and if it comes with money savings too, even better.
Open Floor Plans
Millennials are more about the experience than the tangible. They’d rather spend their money on traveling or going out to restaurants than having a massive house filled with ridiculously expensive stuff. Having a space that they can share experiences with family and friends is really important to this group, and an open floor plan is much more conducive to entertaining.
Being able to mingle, watch a big game on TV from the kitchen, and prepare food all at the same time and from the same space without being divided by drywall is a key feature that this group of homebuyers are looking for.
No Formal, Separate Dining Rooms
Maybe this one can go under open floor plans, but it’s worth noting on its on. The centuries-old tradition of having a formal dining room quartered off from other rooms in the home is a dead issue with Millennials. Today’s modern homebuyers have their dinners and entertain guests all in the same space. If they’re going to have a separate room, it’s going to be more for a home office rather than a separate dining room.
Let’s face it: wall-to-wall carpeting it so passé. These buyers don’t have the time nor the inclination to have to deal with vacuuming or cleaning carpets, especially if they’ve got pets in the house. Translation? They’d much prefer to see clean, easily-maintained hardwood flooring in a home that can be quickly mopped up if pet hair sheds or a glass of wine spills. Plus, it looks a lot nicer too.
Maybe the generation before this one didn’t care too much about the technological capacity of a home, but that’s a lot different today. Millennials want a home that has excellent cell service, cable TV hookups, high-speed internet capabilities, pot lights with dimmer switches, and electrical outlets galore. It’s all about technology with these folks, and if they can’t get it in one home, they’ll look for it in another.
Millennials currently make up a third of the entire US population, so they’ll continue to have a huge effect on home buying trends in 2016 and beyond. One thing’s for sure – if you’re planning on selling your home some time in the near future, you’d be wise to perk up and pay attention to what Generation Yers want. You don’t want to miss out on a huge proportion of young buyers on the prowl.