Millennials might be known for their obsession with avocado toasts and pricey lattes, but they are more similar to older generations than people might expect – especially when it comes to buying a home. According to a 2016 study from the National Association of Realtors on generational housing trends, millennials – those born between 1980 and 2000 – comprise the largest segment of the buyer market (35%). In fact, millennials plan to buy multiple homes throughout their life, with 68% of millennials saying their current home is merely a stepping stone.
But how can agents and home sellers tap into this potential and know the “must-haves” that are sure to get younger buyers’ attention? Here are the seven things that millennials are looking for in a potential home.
1. Location – Walk to Town
Many millennials are forgoing larger cities and heading to the suburbs to ensure they get the most for their money. But before they settle on a large yard and bigger closets, there is one thing that millennials are still really concerned about: location. With the rise of telecommuting and remote employment, millennials still want to be sure that they’re close to the center of activity. The closer to the hubbub of activity, the greater the appeal. Even just including the distance to the closest shopping district will help millennial homebuyers to see that a move to a new home doesn’t mean being away from the center of the action.
2. Open Floor Plan
Only a generation ago, formal dining rooms were considered a must-have on a buyer’s wish list. But today, millennial buyers are forgoing this more structured style blueprint for a breezier, light home design. With the kitchen now considered the center of the home, especially when it comes to entertaining, millennials want a home that flows during gatherings. This next generation of homebuyers knows exactly the style of home they want, and want a turnkey home that fits their social lifestyle.
3. Home Office
Image: 99 Architecture
Telecommunicating is on the rise, which is why millennials are increasingly looking to incorporate home office spaces. Even if a buyer doesn’t work from home full-time, a recent study found that 80-90% of the U.S. workforce plan to telework at least part time. Having a dedicated space keeps them focused on work, whether it’s planning a presentation, organizing a conference call, or just paying a few bills.
4. Clean Modern Kitchen
Many young buyers are not interested in fussy materials or massive renovation projects, especially in the kitchen. Low maintenance materials, such as hardwood floors and granite countertops, are seen as a cost-effective alternative that won’t require a lot of maintenance. Even simple cabinet updates can be seen as a major win for project shy home buyers.
5. Updated Bathrooms
We all want a spa-quality bathroom, but for budget minded millennials updated bathrooms are now considered a must-have. Considering that bathrooms are often one of the most expensive spaces to update, millennials know they can’t afford to risk a lot of money on renovations. Although fixtures are often a matter of taste, younger buyers are more likely to gravitate towards more modern, clean finishes.
6. Two Master Closets
With cost per square foot priced at a premium, home buyers want a home design that makes the most use of their space. Even if two closets might seem excessive at first, millennials want to buy a home they feel they can grow into. Home design experts say that this desire for two master closets also carries over in creating a multi-functional space, such as installing a second laundry unit. Dead space is often seen as wasted money, and millennials want to know they are maximizing every corner of their home’s space.
Image: Green Street Blog
Mudrooms are small spaces that offer a big bonus to millennial homebuyers. Unlike a front entry that is used by guests, even the smallest mudrooms can be very effective in keeping a home clutter-free and clean. Does the home lack a structured mudroom? Simply add a row of cubbies and hooks to create a dedicated space that offers the same functionality as a mudroom.