What Do Millennial Homebuyers Want in a House?

August 21, 2019 by Jorge Lopez

Young man surprising his wife or a girl with new a apartment.
It’s easy to talk about the housing market in general terms, but every demographic has its unmistakable differences. Certain marketing strategies and listing techniques may work on Baby Boomers, but they not be as effective when employed with millennial homebuyers.

If you’re primarily interested in pitching to millennial homebuyers, you’ll need to play by a newer set of rules.

Who are Millennials?

The label “Millennial” gets tossed around so much these days that people forget precisely what a millennial is. Definitions vary, of course, but most observers agree that millennials are citizens born between 1977 and 2000.

They make up 25 percent of the U.S. population today, and account for 21 percent of all consumer discretionary purchases. Roughly 1 in 4 millennials are parents and 53 percent of millennial households have children.

In other words, though the term is often used to refer to teenagers and young adults in their early 20s, the millennial demographic is actually a bit more mature than that. A large portion of the demographic is financially stable and ready to buy a house.

By tailoring your approach to those buyers, you’re more likely to achieve success.

What Do Millennials Want in a House?

What millennials want in a home is often substantially different from what older generations have sought and continue to value. Take a closer look at some of the factors, features, and amenities that appeal the most to the millennial generation.

1. Open Floor Plan

Millennials are crazy about open spaces that are versatile and seamless. Floor plans that are overly compartmentalized or “choppy” aren’t attractive to them.

By and large, they want the living room, kitchen, and other major living areas to flow into one another. There’s obviously going to be an expectation of privacy in bedrooms and bathrooms, but that’s as far it goes.

2. Updated Kitchens and Bathrooms

“According to a 2016 study by the National Kitchen & Bath Association, [millennials] outspend other age groups when remodeling their kitchens and bathrooms, spending an average of 17.7% more than the $19,155 typically invested in a kitchen remodel and a whopping 42.3% more than the $11,364 normally allocated to remodel a bathroom,” Mary Cook writes for BuilderOnline.com.

The savvy seller says it’s better to go ahead and update kitchens and bathrooms before you put a house on the market. If you do, you will appeal to a larger percentage of millennials and offer a turnkey property that buyers can purchase without having to think about a budget and timeline for renovations. 

3. Dedicated Workspace

 Millennials are far more likely to work from home than members of any other generation. In fact, 85 percent of millennials want the ability to work remotely.

Thus, when they buy a house, most millennials are thinking about the purchase in terms of working out of the home, either right away or eventually. Listings that have dedicated workspaces are far more attractive to millennials than those that lack them.

Even if it’s just a spare bedroom, staging a space to resemble a home office is a great way to pique buyers’ interest and help them perceive the versatility of the room.

4. Minimal Landscaping

A majority of millennials don’t want anything to do with intensive landscaping, yard work, or lawn maintenance. They’d much rather spend their time working and playing.

Curb appeal is an undeniable factor, but beware of listings that imply a significant time commitment for upkeep of the landscaping. This can be a turn-off and may have a negative impact on a buyer’s perception of the property.

5. Smart Technology

Among millennial homebuyers, smart technology is one of the more appealing features of a home. This particular generation of homeowners has been raised on tech, and they have expectations about what a house should look like.

“Our research shows that women 35 and under see value in owning a home and their attitudes toward making space livable through smart technology and integrated design are significantly stronger than those of their older cohorts,” says Jill Waage, editorial director for Better Homes and Gardens. “The next generation of homeowners will lead the way in adopting new technology — making features like the ability to preheat an oven or unlock the front door from your smartphone the new norm in home convenience.”

Smart technology will contribute substantially to your sales pitch. For just a few hundred dollars, you can retrofit a home with such features as doorbell cameras and smart locks. In the eyes of a millennial buyer, however, this can add thousands in value. 

6. Walkability

 It’s a common misconception that millennials all want to live in the middle of a big city. Though there are certainly some who do, the majority are content to shift out toward the suburbs.

They are interested, however, in making sure amenities and entertainment are nearby. A term has been coined to describe this factor: walkability.

The concept of walkability is pretty straightforward. Homes that have amenities like coffee shops, dog parks, and playgrounds within easy walking distance are more walkable, and thus more attractive than those that are more isolated. You can calculate a walkability score by checking out WalkScore.com.

7. Exceptional Listings

 It takes a lot to impress a millennial. They’re exposed to thousands of marketing messages on a daily basis and accustomed to skilled marketing messages that engage them in meaningful ways.

That being the case, you can’t be lazy with your listings. To reach millennials, your listings must contain descriptive language, immersive images, and ample information.

At the same time, simplicity is also key. You want to deliver a streamlined value proposition that compels buyers to schedule a showing or make an offer. That’s how it’s done.

Sell Your House With Green Residential

The typical Houston homeowner is going to shell out 6 percent of the sales price to agents: 3 percent to the selling agent and 3 percent to the buying agent. At Green Residential, we think this is too much.

That’s why we’re proud to offer a flat-fee rate that enables you to keep more of your hard-earned equity intact. For more information on the advantages of selling your Houston home with one of our experienced agents, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Jorge Lopez

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