Not long ago, a popular billboard in our area was for a real estate company with a photo of a couple vaguely resembling Betty White & Lil John sitting on a couch. The billboard’s tagline was “Helping Buyers & Sellers Find Each Other”. While the billboard is comical, it does drive an important point home. In some cases, especially for those who’ve been living in their home for decades, when the decision comes to relocate, oftentimes their target buyer is someone of a different generation than themselves. Taking this to heart is crucial in the current real estate market, which still favors the buyer, many of whom fall into the generation known as the “millennials”.
mil·len·ni·al– Refers to those born between 1978-2000
Home Improvements That Can Attract Millennial Buyers:
Maintenance-Free Living: Another pseudonym for this group is the “now generation”. As the name implies, they seek out quick results and would prefer to not take the time to maintain aspects of their home that can be constructed maintenance free. As a home seller, this means opting for features such as clog-free gutters, composite decking and durable siding.
Smart Homes: A recent survey found that 65% of Millennials believe that losing their phone or computer would be more detrimental to their daily lives than losing their car. Whether it’s digitized home lighting, irrigation, HVAC or home security system, there’s no doubt that integration of technology into your home will greatly appeal to Millennials.
Entertaining Space: As family sizes continue to shrink and the country’s birth rates decline, Generation Y needs less bedrooms and more space to host guests. Home improvements such as finishing your basement, adding a media room and adding a deck or patio will increase your home’s value in their eyes. The same can be said for features such as swimming pools and hot tubs which more mature generations can perceive as expensive and a chore to maintain.
Energy Efficient: Going hand in hand with an eco-conscious mentality, Millenials, also have a high desire for an energy efficient home which is both kind to the wallet and Mother Nature. High in demand energy efficient features include: windows & doors, appliances, and insulation. Having a home performance test that can be provided to potential home buyers is something that would apply to the Millennial real estate market.
Colors: In the past, it was customary to opt for white walls when selling your home. This is no longer the case. Nowadays, Millennials prefer painted walls which add interest. No longer are bold colors taboo, however, if choosing this course, it’s to your benefit to pick the brain of an interior designer or professional painter to ensure that your selection isn’t too wild, such as fire engine red or hot pink.
Floor Plans: In various facets of their lives, Millennials appreciate openness and this characteristic translates into their list of desirable features in a home. Because Millennials are often at the preliminary or early stages of starting a family, it’s helpful for them to see rooms that can be utilized for multiple purposes such as a home office that can be converted into a guest room or a nursery.
Flooring: Carpeting is often perceived by this generation as high maintenance and easily damaged. Opt for tiling, hardwood or laminate flooring where possible.
Eco-Conscious: Having been raised by Baby Boomers, who are credited with starting the green movement, Millenials are environmentally conscious and prefer environmentally friendly products when possible. Enhancements that can be made to your home to attract Millennial buyers with include: rainwater harvesters, skylights & sun tunnels.
Storage: Simply put, the Millennial generation has a lot of “stuff”. Homes can never have enough storage. Whether it’s usable attic space in the home or garage, built-in closet shelving, cabinet space or not having enough storage can be a factor that allows other homes to get chosen ahead of yours.