Millennials are changing. No longer are they the hipster kids all looking for a rental close to bars and shopping. They’re getting older, settling down and having kids of their own. They’re also buying homes — a bit later than previous generations, but they’re making up for lost time. While they may have once valued walkability, a short commute and living in the urban core, life changes have many of them looking for other perks in a new home.
1. A Yard
Millennials are maybe the biggest dog loving generation ever: 56 percent of millennials own a pooch, according to a TD Ameritrade study. Dog parks are still a thing! Today's young homeowners are looking for a yard — even a small space yard will do — for their pups to enjoy. It doesn’t have to be the traditional big backyard that Generation X and baby boomers prefer. A contained patch of low-maintenance grass (surrounded by a fence), is a high priority for this wave of homebuyers.
2. Bigger Homes, Different Neighborhoods
Remember when tiny homes were trendy? It looks like millennials are growing out of that — because they're having kids. Millennials now account for the majority of new moms in the U.S., that means a major shift in priorities. The biggest home upgrade many are looking for now is more square footage, and neighborhoods in good school districts. Translation: Many millennials are moving away from the urban core and into the suburbs.
3. Move-In Ready
The DIY movement of the early 2000's isn’t gone, but it has diminished. More millennials prefer a home that is move-in ready; updated kitchens and bathrooms are a plus. Freshly painted walls, modern flooring, and good internet and cell reception are musts. What they don't want are added maintenance costs tacked on top of a down payment and closing costs. If updated features are not as obvious — say, a new roof or water heater — make sure your real estate agent points them out.
4. Environmentally Friendly
One thing that hasn't changed for millennials is a commitment to saving the environment. This translates into upgrades such as solar panels, low-water toilets, energy efficient appliances, outdoor solar lighting, and elements made from sustainable sources. Hardwood floors made of bamboo are a good example, since the raw plant material used to make them have a quick growth cycle compared to traditional hardwood trees. Highlight how your home is easy on the environment, and you’ll definitely pique a millennial's interest.
5. Updated Technology
Another thing that has not changed for millennials: a tech-savvy approach to living. Smart thermostats controlled by phone, keyless locks, and doorbell security cameras. All these appeal to millennial homebuyers who enjoy the conveniences their smartphones offer. They will look to their phones to run their homes, so these upgrades are a huge plus.
6. In-Home Spaces
An in-home office is appealing to millennials, who are more likely to work from home or telecommute. A playroom for the kids or a fitness room where parents can squeeze in a workout without needing childcare is a huge selling point too.
Millennials have massive buying power as a generation, and as they turn to buy homes, they will make a big difference in the marketplace. While some features — such as square footage and good schools — are predictable selling points, other features are a characteristic of the generation as a whole. Those eco-friendly and high tech upgrades can make or break a sale.