By Roselyn Jenkins
In 2021, the oldest millennials turn 40. As this generation settles down, its members bring their tastes and preferences along with them, right into the real estate market. Millennials know what they want, and they want to see that translated into their homes. Here are five upgrades millennial homebuyers love.
These digital natives are all about a high-tech home. Millennial homebuyers like upgrades like keyless locks, smart thermostats, and doorbell security cameras. High-tech upgrades win homebuyers of all ages. But millennials are early adopters of technology, and so any new cutting edge upgrade is sure to get a second look from this generation.
Millennials have come a long way in the past couple of decades, but one thing that has not changed is the generation’s commitment to the environment. Millennials want a green future, and that philosophy applies to their home. Upgrades such as energy-efficient appliances and windows, solar energy, and water-saving features will score points with prospective millennial buyers.
When buying a home, you can bet millennials are keeping their furry family members in mind. One study says more than half of millennials have a dog. Dog parks are still popular, but nothing beats having a patch of grass for their pups to run. Since they’re spending more time outdoors, they want a well-kept, green lawn where their kids can also play. But they prefer a yard that’s low maintenance, so they don’t have to spend their free time taking care of it.
Ten years ago, many millennials professed their love for the studio apartment in the urban core, close to mass transit, restaurants, and nightlife. These days? More of them are moving to the suburbs in search of good schools and more square footage. That’s because millennials are having kids. In fact, millennial women account for a large majority of new moms. Now the extra bedroom and proximity to the elementary school with good test scores is beating out the apartment in the hip neighborhood.
Millennials may love watching “Fixer Upper” reruns, but that doesn’t mean they want to do any fixing or upping themselves. This generation of homebuyers prefers property that is move-in ready. They don’t want added maintenance or repair costs tacked on top of their down payment and closing costs. That means the kitchen and bathrooms look good -- no orange counters or tacky, outdated tile. But freshly painted walls, modern flooring, and good internet and cell reception are musts. If those updates are less obvious, like a new roof or insulation, make sure your real estate agent points them out.
The millennial generation is the biggest in the U.S. — 73 million strong — and set to play a defining role in the housing market for decades to come. They have been shaped by technology in a way no other generation has, and are ready to enter the next phase in their lives — a phase that includes homeownership and an evolving set of priorities.
Roselyn Jenkins is a real estate agent who spends much of her time fixing up and flipping old houses. Her specialty is creating eye-catching landscapes.