If you’re thinking about selling your home, you’ve got two factors in your favor right now. Home inventory is low, and demand for homes is sky-high. Millennials (born between 1981-1996) are buying more homes than any other age group – often taking advantage of the benefits of FHA loans – and that trend is expected to continue. The coronavirus pandemic is helping with this surge, thanks to low-interest rates and the desire for more space as people spend more time at home.
You can help your home stand out by focusing on these features millennial homebuyers love.
This generation values convenience: The less home maintenance required, the better. Millennials prefer hardwood flooring to carpet that requires shampooing. They also choose synthetic decking over wooden decks that need annual restaining. The low-maintenance mantra extends to your yard – more on that in a moment.
Large, open-concept kitchens that flow into other living spaces top the list for many millennial homebuyers. This age group considers the kitchen a hub for socializing as well as cooking. With more meal preparation and eating happening at home these days, an inviting kitchen is even more important. Since many 20 and 30 somethings may not have much of a renovation budget after buying a home, updated kitchens are preferable to ones that need work.
Tech-savvy millennials want tech-savvy homes. The most popular features are the ones that make tasks faster and simpler. Adding to the appeal, they’re also controlled by voice command through Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa, or remotely by smartphone apps.
Some examples: lighting systems that turn off the lights with one button or a voice command, or lights that turn on when you unlock the door. Smart door locks you control with your cellphone eliminate the need to search for keys. Smart thermostats learn your temperature preferences by how you use your heating and cooling systems. Smart security systems allow you to check on your house and your pets remotely from your smartphone.
Outside the home, smart sprinkler systems water the lawn based on soil and weather conditions, rather than a programmed schedule.
This is an eco-conscious age group, and they’ll favor a home with a smaller carbon footprint. Solar panels and energy-efficient windows, efficient insulation, appliances, and lighting are huge draws. Energy Star-rated appliances, in particular, are a top demand for millenials. Close behind is an Energy Star rating for the whole home.
Smaller improvements can help make your home more eco-appealing too. Try weather-stripping windows and doors or installing low-flow showerheads and faucets. You can also swap out older light bulbs for more efficient LED options.
Pre-pandemic, younger homebuyers were looking for homes with functional spaces. This has become even more important now, with buyers viewing their homes as their potential workplace. Help them visualize this possibility in your home by staging a room as an office or dedicated workspace. Don’t have an entire room? Transform a corner of a living room or an under-utilized portion of a kitchen counter.
While it’s harder right now to “get away from it all”, millennials still want to get outside. Millennial homebuyers rank the backyard as a top priority. Outdoor spaces serve as an oasis for relaxing, recreating, and socializing. Yards with decks/patios and room for kids and dogs to play are especially appealing.
Speaking of dogs, millennials are obsessed. Nearly three-quarters of millennials own a pet according to the American Pet Products Association. Many in this generation prefer pets to children, and millennial home buyers may pass on a property if it doesn’t meet their fur babies’ needs. Learn how to make your yard more dog-friendly with this video.
Of course, if you’re buying a home with the intention of renting it out, beware of renters with too many pets. Make sure you’re familiar with the eviction process if the pets damage your home.
The Great Outdoors
As a seller, make sure your outdoor space is ready to impress. Clean or restain your deck, add new patio furniture, colorful accents, or potted plants, and maintain your lawn. According to LawnStarter, the average cost for landscape maintenance in Philly is about $200, so it may be worth your while to hire someone. If you’re looking to improve your landscaping, keep in mind that a low maintenance and eco-friendly approach will appeal to younger buyers.
As millennials enter the real estate market in larger numbers, it makes sense to maximize your home’s appeal to this demographic. By focusing on features millennials love, your listing will likely not last long.
Bryce Thompson is a home stager and freelance writer who specializes in inexpensive ways to improve energy efficiency and curb appeal.