Asking millions of people what they want in a home may well yield millions of unique answers. This fact makes it more difficult to categorize a group as large as the Millennial generation based on their home buying preferences. However this generation is viewed by its predecessors, Millennials’ general expectations have a fair overlap with other home buying groups. What they look for when they start to search for homes is bound by their finances and where they are in life.
For the upcoming generation of home buyers, location still remains king. Buying in a good area that is likely to grow in value is important to younger adults who are all too aware of the last decade’s housing crisis. What defines the best neighborhoods and regions varies quite a bit, depending on age, income, and expectations. As Millennials age into their thirties, they are beginning to expand more into the suburban rather than urban areas. Proximity to work and quality schooling for children is crucial for people looking to cut down on commute time and transit expenses.
Affordability is key for many people in the Millennial age group, who are disproportionately underemployed or struggling to pay off high student loan debt. For this group, finding a home that they can afford without having to compromise too much or worry about defaulting is the goal. This aim juxtaposes against their desire for a good location. As such, people may choose a home that is smaller if it means they can live closer to work, dining, or entertainment.
Although the trope of the perfect Millennial home tends to emphasize multifamily dwellings in the heart of a big city, the average age of this group dictates something a little smaller with some opportunity for individuality. Like growing households from other generations, the latest group of home buyers seem to be expressing preference for single-family homes with at least three bedrooms and two bathrooms. This allows them the space they need to have a child or two, and possibly a home office for a side business.
Efficient Use of Space
Since younger home buyers tend to look for homes at a lower price and better location, they want any use of a smaller space to be quite efficient. This upcoming group has little interest in the use of certain rooms for the room’s sake, opting instead for multipurpose spaces that can change on a dime. This means that they might want an excellent space for entertaining that can be quickly converted to a functional work-from-home or family space for most of the year. Emphasis on practicality and enjoyment takes priority over simply having a traditional-looking home.
Younger people tend to adapt to and assimilate technological innovations more quickly than older groups. Home buyers getting started on their first homes are cognizant of the kinds of conveniences that the world’s increasing connectivity can provide. Home automation systems that can streamline aspects of the day-to-day management of a home can help homeowners better manage their busy lives. Such systems include:
- energy use
- home security
Adaptable systems that can be easily swapped out when they become obsolete draw more interest for people who know they will have to upgrade after a few years. Home upgrades such as energy-efficient appliances and systems, and smart home technology all fall under an umbrella of popularity that the growing subset of Millennial home buyers tend to look for.
All this discussion of affordability and practicality may make it seem like home buyers in their 20s and 30s care not for trendy or high-end home features. However, that does not necessarily reflect the current mindset of the average home buyer in this group. People looking for a good deal in a great location are keeping quality in mind, and they want homes that offer some of the luxury upgrades that they see in the homes of older friends and relatives. They are willing to compromise a bit on the size of the kitchen if it means they can have high-end flooring and natural stone countertops.
People who are watching the preferences of home buyers alter over the past decade or two will notice that change is happening slowly but surely. Although home buyers in the Millennial generation note certain desires for efficiency and affordability that might differ somewhat from their predecessors, their goal for a quality home in a good location is timeless.