6 Unique Wants of Younger Buyers
By Zoe Eisenberg
We already know that today's breed of buyers is unlike the generation that came before. Tech savvy and always on the go, Millennial buyers—a blanket term that includes Gen Y and the Echoboomers--have different expectations when it comes to buying a home. They are often in different places in their lives than their predecessors; many aren't even married yet.
Below are a handful of interesting features Millenial buyers are adding to their “want” list when it comes to searching for that ideal home.
Green home options used to be an added bonus. Now they are becoming a housing staple. Today's younger buyers are greening out in an effort to both reduce their footprint, and their utility bills.
Energy efficient windows and appliances, as well as solar panels, are all the rage in today's home buying market, and according to a recent housing survey, energy-saving washers and dryers were Millennials most sought-after appliance.
High Tech Homes
High-tech is high-priority; nearly two-thirds of Millennials surveyed said they wouldn’t live in a home that wasn’t tech-friendly.
“I encourage builders to recognize how younger buyers want to integrate technology into the home. Now there are apps you can have on your smartphone that allow you to control home temperature, or from a security standpoint, you can monitor camera from your phone,” says Dennis Walsh, CEO of REbuild USA and a leading industry trainer in new home sales and agent certification.
Apps and security systems aside, Millennials are also interested in luxe home-tech; 43 percent surveyed said they would gladly transform a living room into a home theater, and when it comes to the kitchen, 59 percent would rather have a television screen than a second oven.
“Each generation makes decisions that are synonymous with the technology and advancements available to them,” says Aldo Martinez, a broker and branch manager in Las Vegas, Nev. “The home buying decision made today by the millennial generation proves to be cutting-edge and technology driven.”
Extra bedrooms to use as a rec room, a big finished basement or attic - today's buyers want space they can custom feed to their interests, and Walsh notes that buyers are looking for flexible spaces that can be used for multiple purposes. While they may not be looking for that room for baby right now, they may want a game room, a home office or a home gym. Allowing them additional spaces to get creative with provides them with the ability to change their space along with their lifestyle as their needs evolve.
Also popular are smaller living spaces, which are both more manageable for younger buyers, and more efficient. Square footage is not the only thing younger buyers are cutting back on; some are also ditching the stairs.
“Younger buyers who are used to, and enjoy, apartment-style living are now also surprisingly looking for 1 floor homes, a trend that we were formerly seeing with older generations," says Walsh.
Who needs a separate kitchen and dining room? Martinez notes that Millennials consider separate, formal rooms a waste of living area. Instead, they look for open spaces and large great rooms that are easily serviced from the kitchen.
According to a recent home buyer trend survey, many new buyers aren't feeling up to doing it themselves. Scoring a deal on a fixer-upper is less appealing than paying more for something move-in ready.
Martinez notes that Millenials are looking for spaces that are easy to maintain, and do not occupy a lot of their time.
Working with younger buyers? Be sure to be mobile friendly.
“We have entered real time real estate,” says Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of a real estate firm with coverage in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. “It’s like mobile technology was made for young buyers. They have their GPS enabled mobile real estate apps, receiving instant updates when new listings come on the market in their selected area and instant communications with their network of friends for recommendations and suggestions”
“Millennials are a very social generation. They like putting their life on “blast,” meaning out there for everyone to see,” says Martinez. “If they are doing it, they are sharing it. Therefore, the homes they live in share those characteristics.”