Millennials get a bad rap in the news for being “slow to enter the market” and even for being boomerang kids, moving back in with their parents after college or renting. But in fact, millennials (generally defined as those born between 1980-1995) represent almost a third of the homebuyers out there – and their purchasing power is looking up. In fact, in 2015 millennials were the single biggest group of American homebuyers.
So, how can developers, flippers, and home sellers appeal to millennials? What they want is surprisingly straightforward. Here’s how to design a home that will appeal to millennial buyers.
Build in the Burbs
You heard that right. The latest data shows millennials are moving out of the urban core as fast as Young Boomers are moving back in. Over 50% of Generation Y look to the suburbs to purchase a first home thanks in large part to better prices, more family-friendly neighborhoods, and larger floorplans to accommodate growing families. For builders, move-up homes just outside the city center (with accessibility, of course) are the golden ticket for millennial buyers.
Very Open Floor Plans
Young buyers are more adamant than any other group about open living spaces. This is a generation that grew up with flexible living space and they love to entertain. They’re also entering or enjoying the young children phase of life, and many millennials say they want to be able to keep an eye on the kids while they cook. Builders will do well to incorporate large, flexible spaces that do double-duty: a huge kitchen island that’s also used for homework, built-in cabinetry that can also store toys, a loft that can be a playroom and then a home office.
Connected Home Offices
Speaking of home offices, the millennial generation sees ‘teleworking’ as part of everyday life, not a trend. Over 13,000,000 Americans work from home and many of them are Generation Y. Home offices shouldn’t stop with just a window and French doors, either. To appeal to millennials, include features like an in-floor outlet, multi-function plug panels, recessed lighting, and even extra insulation for soundproofing qualities.
Little to No Maintenance
Many millennials grew up with large yards and huge homes, both of which translated to weekends spent mowing and massive energy bills. This generation doesn’t want to spend all their time maintaining their home (especially since they’ve often been renting for years and have become used to low-maintenance) so they’re fine with small yards and less square footage. In general, millennials care more about what’s inside the home than the exterior and would prefer extra money be spent on modern fixtures than sod.
Fully Finished, Staged Homes
They call it the “Cable TV Effect.” With dozens of reality real estate shows on the air these days, millennials’ expectations of the home buying process has become a little skewed. They expect to see homes that are fully updated (especially the kitchens and bathrooms), totally furnished, and artfully staged. Although they realize paint color and ugly carpet can be easily changed, they don’t want to deal with the hassle if they don’t have to. Few groups respond better to turn-key properties than millennials.
Millennial buyers haven’t even begun to impact the market to their full ability, and builders are smart to get behind the trends this generation is looking for. With increasing purchasing power, new loan options, and the desire to own a home, millennials are about to make a huge impact on the U.S. housing market.
Need help appealing to millennial home buyers? Creative Model Designs knows exactly how to attract millennial buyers in Charlotte and beyond. Contact us today to talk design, layout, and more.