Millennials make up the largest share of home buyers at 32 percent, according to a recent generational trends report by the National Association of REALTORS®. While older generations sought out homes with luxury amenities and rooms with one specific purpose, younger buyers are seeking affordable, efficient homes that can be customized to suit their changing needs.
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“When it comes to homes today, millennials want something creative, something different,” says James Roche, CEO of Houseplans.com. “They want something that better suits the times. For example, fine china and living rooms that nobody ever sets foot in are considered desires of the past. Dining rooms are being converted into home offices. Family rooms are being transformed into media centers. And, homeowners are now leveraging smartphones and tablets to adjust the temperature, or turn on outdoor lights and security systems.”
These are the top five millennial home desires, according to Boyce Thompson, former editor of Builder Magazine:
Affordability. Many millennials want a home that is affordable, yet “move-in ready,” with all the bells and whistles, including an updated kitchen, high-tech amenities, and open, versatile spaces with an indoor-outdoor flow.
Efficiency. Millennials tend to be conscious of not being wasteful, and will do what it takes to save on the use of electricity and water. “One [Florida] home I worked on featured one of the earliest disappearing window walls in production housing,” says Thompson. “You walked through a short entry vestibule to the main living area, and you looked right through the home, to the pool deck, and out into the Orlando night. The architect, Mike Woodley, and I sat on a couch in the family room and watched the delighted expression of visitors as they entered the space and discovered that a corner of the roof was suspended on a post in the pool.”
Flexibility. Since millennials see their homes as an extension of the rest of their lives, not just as a refuge from work, they prefer casual, flexible spaces. They want home offices that can convert to a game room and large attic spaces that could eventually be transformed as a play space. Customization of the home is important, even if it means spending extra money. “An ideal floor plan might include an “away” room, especially if you needed to ‘get away’ to do yoga, practice the guitar, or, even if you want to isolate your child’s latest Lego creation,” says Thompson. “Then, later on, this space could eventually be converted into a bedroom.”
Going Green. A recent study from NAR revealed that 10% of millennials seek out new-home construction for green/energy efficient reasons. As a group, young buyers prefer green building and homes that use sustainable, recycled materials. They want housing that’s smaller and energy-efficient (think LED lighting), and they appreciate good engineering.
Entertaining. It should be no surprise that the younger generation wants a home that they can show off to their neighbors and friends and use as an entertainment space – from fire pits to open floor plans to game rooms. They also have a deep appreciation for versatile outdoor spaces that extend living space.
Source: “Houseplans.com,” (May 21, 2015)