December 21, 2018

What Millennial Home Buyers Are Looking For in 2019

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Contrary to messaging in mainstream media, millennials are no longer children. The generation born between 1981 and 1996 are in their twenties or even late thirties. So it’s not surprising that many millennials are entering or are already in the home-buying market. With millennials expected to outnumber Baby Boomers in 2019, they’re a market segment you can’t ignore.

Millennial home buyers are motivated. The vast majority see owning a home as being more affordable than renting. But they’ve also been called the ‘pickiest’ generation when it comes to real estate. They know what they want and are willing to wait until they find exactly that.

While past generations may have looked at their homes as status symbols, millennial home buyers want something different. Their criteria for a new home include:

  • Sustainable design.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Quiet sanctuary.
  • Comfort.

Sustainable Design

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Millennials are an altruistic generation. They are more socially-conscious than their predecessors. Whether it’s giving back to their communities or choosing brands with a green platform, sustainability is at the forefront of their decision-making.

Architects and homebuilders need to keep this trend in mind as they are planning new communities. New builds with a focus on energy efficiency, including programs like Net Zero, will appeal to millennial home buyers.

Use of green building materials and technology will also hold you in good standing in the millennial market. Whether it’s energy-efficient appliances or smart thermostats, they will see these features as requirements, not value adds.

Building with sustainability in mind starts with building material selection. Insulated concrete block systems, like the Bautex Block Wall System, create a continuous and well-insulated home that will help keep energy costs down.

While millennials may prefer an energy-efficient home, they don’t want to pay more for it. Facing a competitive housing market and financial constraints like high student debt, they are both socially- and budget-conscious. To meet this demand, builders need to select the right materials to keep construction costs down, while still meeting green building standards.

Low Maintenance

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Millennials are not interested in fixer-uppers the way past generations have been, and do not budget for significant repair and maintenance costs when planning to buy a home. According to the National Realtors Association, nearly half of millennials who bought newly-built homes did so to avoid major repairs and renovations.

Along these same lines, millennials living in areas prone to increasing natural disasters and extreme weather conditions will expect new homes to be built with these conditions in mind. A focus on disaster-resistant building codes and materials will make the home more appealing to them.

The Bautex Block Wall System has lower maintenance than other traditional building materials and complies with Federal Emergency Management Act (FEMA) guidelines to withstand extreme weather. Choosing building materials that have a reputation for durability and minimal maintenance, like Bautex, will be an attractive option to the millennial market.

Quiet Sanctuary

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Millennials are a generation of researchers. Access to online listings and neighborhood apps makes it easier than ever to evaluate not only the home on offer but its surrounding area too. Quality of the neighborhood is the #1 criterion when looking at real estate listings.

Nearly 60% of millennials are buying houses in the suburbs, with another 16% choosing to live in small towns. The search for a quiet sanctuary is real, with features like access to green space playing a key role in buying decisions.

Increasingly, millennial home buyers have at least one child. This may be informing the trend to move away from condos and downtown areas. More and more they are showing a preference for a detached home. These buyers are looking for space, including backyards and open concept interior design

Comfort

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What makes a millennial comfortable in their future home will vary from buyer to buyer. They are very focused on value for money. They want unique details, not cookie cutter layouts, made with durable high-quality materials. An open floor plan, particularly for living and dining areas, is a great selling feature.

They are also looking for indoor specialty features and rooms. These could include options like:

  • Media room or home theater.
  • Playrooms for children.
  • Wine cellars.
  • Work-out rooms.

Options for customization will also appeal to these buyers. Whether it’s a pop of color in paints, or choices of fixtures and appliances, millennials feel most comfortable when they have had a voice in the final design process.

 

Whether it’s a green design or a quiet sanctuary, millennials are increasingly becoming a market segment you can’t ignore. Learning what they want in a home will help you increase sales and customer satisfaction. For more information on trends in homebuilding, please visit the Bautex Systems blog or Facebook page.