Millennials – or members of Generation Y – are heading into their home-buying years. Many have graduated from college and found success in the workforce, with salaries that support their desire to own their own place. Others went straight from high school into trades or other jobs and have now amassed enough money for a downpayment on a starter home and are eager to start shopping.
This generation, however, say the experts, is definitely different than generations before when it comes down to what they are seeking in the home of their dreams or – at least – the home that will eventually lead to the home of their dreams. It’s not necessarily the big back yard for the dog and the kids those baby boomers sought or the sprawling house in the suburbs with lots of bedrooms and room to entertain the neighbors. No, what millennials want is often quite different than what many might deem the perfect house.
So, if your home is in an area where millennials seem to be flocking, take a close look at your house and think about whether or not it boasts the things that might prompt one (or more) of them to make an offer, including:
More than ever, this generation is looking for “green” houses, and not the kind where plants grow. An energy-efficient home was high up on the list of “must-haves” for millennials during a poll conducted by the National Association of Realtors.
Things that make your home green include quality insulation, new windows, energy-efficient systems including your furnace and hot water system, programmable thermostats, and even shade trees that keep the house cool.
Smart Home Features
Yes, this generation is largely immersed in a world of technology and, as such, they make use of it whenever possible. So, many are looking for up-to-date features in the homes they wish to purchase, including voice-controlled systems for appliances, lighting, and HVAC, as well as systems that can be controlled from their smartphones. Certainly, these are things they can install after they make the purchase, but if those features are already there, it’s a definite plus for the house in consideration.
Open Floor Plans
It seems that most millennials aren’t looking for compact or individual rooms with a specific purpose, like a dining room or a den. The open floor plan craze is right up their alley, so to speak, so “great rooms,” for example, which are a combination of the living room/dining room/kitchen all flowing into one another, are preferred.
There are a lot of reasons why the open floor plan is a favorite, but it usually has to do with entertaining. Nonetheless, such spaces can also be advantageous when there are children involved, as mom or dad can keep an eye on them without the hindrance of walls that block their sight no matter where they are in that space.
Dedicated Office Space
Many millennials are fortunate enough to work from home, so they’re looking for a space in their new house that is totally theirs, unencumbered by noise and traffic from other parts of the house. It doesn’t really matter which floor the space is on but having such a spot is indeed important. So, when you’re staging your home for showings, consider staging one particular place – like an unused spare bedroom – to look like an office. It’ll definitely work in your favor!
Yes, we’ve said it before! Everyone wants hardwood floors in their new home. Gone are the days of linoleum tiles, ceramic, and other flooring materials. Hardwood is THE thing to have! So, if you’re looking to spend your money on some improvements before you list, this is one that will undoubtedly result in a significant return-on-investment.
Upgraded, Open Kitchens
Is your kitchen old and tired? If so, it won’t likely be desirable to the average millennial buyer…or any buyer for that fact. Even if you can’t afford to make major improvements before you list your home, do consider less expensive upgrades like painting the cabinets, replacing the floors, replacing the appliances, and/or painting. That could appease the buyer for now, especially if extra cash for renovations isn’t plentiful.
Also, as we mentioned in the paragraph on open floor plans, if your kitchen isn’t closed in but flows into the dining area, you’re already a step ahead. If it’s currently boxed in, consider taking out a wall to make it more open, if possible.
You can also make a kitchen look more modern by staging it properly and removing any knick-knacks or other items that make it look old. Ask your realtor about more inexpensive ways to boost your kitchen’s appeal.
It isn’t so much that millennials are demanding posh bathrooms with multi-person showers, bright shiny fixtures, and soaking tubs, but the fact that old bathrooms are so expensive to update, just like kitchens, can be a problem for a first-time buyer. So, again, if you’re able to make upgrades before you list, this is one you can do that will result in your recouping a good portion of your renovation money.
Of course, it goes without saying that location is always important. Usually, millennials – especially those who aren’t married with children – are looking for close proximity to urban areas where they can enjoy culture and nightlife. If their job is in the city, that’s an extra perk. So if you’re listing a city home, you can expect a fair number of Generation Y buyers to take a look.
Millennials that are married with a growing family, on the other hand, may indeed seek a location with different advantages, though many aren’t averse to raising their children in the city. If they are looking outside the city, however, they’ll be seeking space for entertainment, a backyard for the kids, and proximity to good schools and other services like shopping, doctors, highways, and public transportation.