Millennials made waves in the 2016 housing market as the largest generational percentage of homebuyers. They were more likely to skip over traditional starter homes and more likely to consider purchasing a new build. See what home features this young generation of homebuyers would choose when given an array of options.
A study performed by Northshore Fireplace gave 1,000 Millennials a hypothetical scenario of the average American home – over 20 years old, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a 1-car garage, older appliances, an unfinished basement located in an average neighborhood with an average school district. They then gave them $300,000 of hypothetical spending money to use on a menu of upgrades to see where exactly Millennials would spend their home improvement dollars.
Here’s what features Millennials cared a lot about and others that weren’t a top priority.
What’s Important to Millennial Homebuyers
New is Nice
New appliances were the number one item respondents would spend money on. Although new construction was an item featured on the list, 34% of Millennials said that spending money on a home 4 to 10 years old was a higher priority.
Location, Location, Location
The closer to a major city, the better. One third of respondents said they’d allocate some of their homebuying money to a location less than 10 miles from a major city. While many Millennial homebuyers have made the move to the suburbs in recent years, a nearby urban hub is still a desired feature with the majority of Millennials picking proximity preferences over property size.
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.
Space for Entertainment
Millennials want their homes to be an extension of their lifestyles, and spending a lot of time with friends and family is a big Millennial trait. Three of the top 10 amenities chosen by respondents were a luxury kitchen, finished basement and outdoor deck, all of which cater to the need to entertain at home.
Neighborhoods and Schools
Millennials know the impact of neighborhoods and schools districts on home values. Over half of respondents said they’d upgrade to a better neighborhood and 40 percent chose a better school district to live in.
Despite their high desire for entertainment spaces, Millennials also placed importance on their own private areas of a home. For instance, 64 percent chose to upgrade their home with a large master bedroom with a walk-in closet.
High Tech Additions
Home efficiency and sustainability are two big wants of Millennial homebuyers – and why wouldn’t they be? Generally speaking, this generation is extremely conscientious when it comes to their environmental impact and growing up in the technological revolution, they want the ease of automation. This is likely why over half of respondents said they’d invest in solar panels/energy storage and over one-third said they’d pay for smart home systems.
What Millennial Homebuyers Can Do Without
A Lot of Maintenance
On the lower half of the amenities list were several items that take a bit of upkeep. Luxury landscaping, over one acre of land, and in-ground pools were chosen by 26 percent or less of survey respondents.
Millennials were relatively modest when it came to exterior home luxuries like 3-car garages, multiple-floor decks and outdoor entertainment spaces. They’d rather spend the money on interior amenities like one extra bedroom (4 bedroom home), a large master bedroom, a luxury master bath and a finished basement.
Looking to buy your first home in 2017? Download our free Mortgage 101 Handbook for everything you need to know from loan options and credit scores to home affordability and the home financing process.