A new generation is currently searching for houses: the millennials. The numbers are so great, in fact, that 2015 has been coined “the year of the millennial homebuyer”. But as you embark on your search for a new residence, consider some of the following options prior to signing on the dotted line.
Born between 1975 and 1995, millennials currently comprise about one-third of the total population in the United States. Trends that have weakened our buying power include increased student loan debt, delays in marriage and starting families, a weak job market and a focus on paying off debt. All in all, this just means millennials are more particular when it comes to purchasing homes than generations before us.
What type of amenities are millennials looking for?
Open Floor Plans
Because families come later in life, right now we’re focused on quality times with good friends. This means that entertaining – and room to do that entertaining – is critical. We like the idea of being able to mingle, watch the big game and prepare food all at the same time. If a space is too boxy or if there are too many walls, we’re likely to look elsewhere.
We work interesting schedules that might be outside of the traditional 9-5, and we have full social calendars. It is important to us to be able to drop everything to leave town for a few days without much notice. This means that we need a home with less maintenance. Homeowner Associations with lawn services are appealing, as are yards that require little to no maintenance. The less responsibility as it relates to keeping the curb appeal high, the better.
No Formal Dining Rooms
It was a tradition that lasted for centuries. However, today’s homebuyers eat on the go or in front of the television. This means that dining rooms are less important than home office space – especially since many of us work on the side, run our own businesses or work from home.
We like to do our part to help the environment and we appreciate the long-term cost savings that comes with it. This means that energy-efficient appliances and greener ways to heat and cool the home might be the tipping point that sells us on one house over another.
We don’t have time, or interest, in maintaining clean carpets, especially if we have pets. This means that we prefer hardwood and laminate flooring that’s easy to mop up when there is a mess. It goes along with less maintenance; the more time we can conserve, the better.
Just because we prefer our on-the-go lifestyle doesn’t mean that we don’t want a home space to unwind and relax. Personal space still matters. This means that personal areas – like bedrooms and master baths – should be designed with comfort in mind. Bathroom and bedroom fireplaces, warm colors and reading spaces all help in this area.
We rely on our electronic devices for work, social activities and play. If there’s any reason we’re unable to do this, we’ll move on. A home should have excellent cell service and connectivity to appeal to millennials.
Millennials should consider these quintessential preferences when shopping for their first home. We have different ideas of what’s right for us, and sellers must be willing to meet our needs. So before you make that life-changing offer on the house of your dreams, be sure to evaluate how much money you will need to spend on remodeling. If the seller is motivated, they might agree to certain home improvement credits at the close of escrow if negotiated upfront.