10 Home Features the Millennial Homebuyer Wants in 2016

Posted by Laine Smith on 4/8/16 11:03 AM

Topics: Home Buying Home Ownership

Ever wonder why Millennials receive so much attention, especially in the housing market? Millennials are the largest generation in American history, and in 2015, they made up the largest generational share of homebuyers (35%).


Whether you’re selling your home and want to appeal to a younger purchase group or you’re simply interested in the ever-changing trends of this generation, here’s what we know about Millennials and their homebuying wants.

Up-To-Date Bathrooms & Kitchens


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We all know it – kitchens and bathrooms sell homes – but updated bathrooms and kitchens aren’t simply an aesthetic desire for the Millennial homebuyer. They’re looking for affordable housing options, so a home in need of a large-scale kitchen or bathroom renovation may be a deal-breaker for this age group.

An Entertaining, Transitional Floor Plan


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The open floor plan has long been a real estate trend but is particularly appealing to the younger homebuyer. Nix the idea of compartmentalized layouts featuring formal dining rooms and sitting areas, because Millennials love transitional spaces made for entertaining.

Location, Location, Location

While Millennials place a good deal of importance on being close to urban necessities and entertainment, in 2015, the amount of Millennialswho moved to the suburbs increased.

Just because Millennials are moving to the ‘burbs doesn’t mean they’re looking past proximity to their work place. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2016 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, commuting costs were more important to Millennials than the costs of heating and cooling their purchased home.

Apart from quality, convenience to their job was the biggest factor influencing Millennial buyers’ choice in neighborhood (60%).

A Good School District

School districts have a good amount of sway with home values, and Millennials recognize this truth. The Millennial generation – those born between 1980 and 2000 – are less likely than other generations to compromise on school districts in their home search, with 52 percent reporting school districts are a deal-breaker in their home search, according to a realtor.com® survey.


Of the 11 percent of Millennials who purchased a new-build last year, nearly half said their reason for purchasing new was to avoid the need for immediate renovationsand/or plumbing or electrical repairs in the near future.

Overall, young homebuyers work long hours and have lots of interest outside of the home, so home materials and updated home systems that require minimal time, care and money are key.

Efficiency & Sustainability

This generation is extremely conscientious of their environmental impact. Think Energy Star appliances, sustainable building materials, and energy-efficient LED lighting.

But according to the National Association of Home Builders, even though Millennials want energy-efficient homes, they’re not extremely apt to move up to a higher price. On average, Millennials say they would pay 2 to 3 percent more for energy efficient features.

Technological Ability


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House is in a cell dead space or zoned for a poorly-rated internet provider? Millennials will probably pass. According to a MarketWatch article, 28% of Millennial buyers said good cellphone coverage is a deciding factor in their choice of a particular home.

Smart phone in hand, Millennial homebuyers also love the idea of a smart home. This technologically-advanced generation loves integrated home features that allows them to watch packages get delivered, enhance their heating & cooling efficiency and keep their house safe all from apps on their cell. Check out our list of the best smart home devices here.

Home Office Potential


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According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, 2.5 percent of the workforce does their job from home at least half of the time. While a home office isn’t a deal-breaker, many telecommuters, including Millennials, desire a home with workable space for a home office.

Remember the kitchen desk built-in that trended heavily in the early 2000’s? The home office is the Millennial’s kitchen desk, but we’re guessing this “trend” may become more of a staple.

Function > Size

In a generation commonly known for their need for things to be faster, better, updated and so forth, their average home purchase was the smallest among generations. The Millennial home purchase was typically 1,720 square feet in comparison to Generation X’s 2,200 and the Baby Boomer’s 1,950 square feet.

Size was the second biggest compromise Millennial homebuyers made in 2015. Of course home affordability is a factor for this generation – bigger home, bigger price tag – but Millennials would rather have an updated home in a great neighborhood, near high-rated schools even if they have to compromise on square footage.

Modern Traditional Style


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According to New Home Source a common misconception about this modern-age generation is that they want their new homes as contemporary as their technology.

A Millennial study by John Burns Consulting found that “Modern Traditional” is the most preferred design style of Millennials, followed by “Style on a Budget”, “Casual Organic” and “Modern”.

Overall, Millennials want functional, high-efficient homes in an affordable but amenity-rich neighborhood but are willing to compromise on square footage for the time being.

Interested in buying your first home? Download our free Mortgage 101 Handbook for loan types, mortgage knowledge, common homebuying terminology and more!

Download: Mortgage 101 Handbook

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