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First Time Home Buyer

Top 4 Things Boston Home Buyers Want

Yesterday we talked about the top 3 things young Boston home buyers want in a potential property. In the course of my research I noticed there were stark differences between what young home buyers look for and home buyers their parents’ age (35-54).


Not surprisingly, people in the 35-54 age range have different needs and wants in a home than their younger counterparts. They are more concerned with interior finishes and functionality, as well as the comfort level of the home.


Earlier this year the National Association of Home Builders released a study titled “What Home Buyers Really Want,” looking at what home buyers nationwide prefer in a potential home’s design, functionality, kitchen, bedrooms, outdoor features and technology.


“[It] provides an inside look at the things home buyers really want or don’t want in their homes,” said Rose Quint, NAHB’s Assistant Vice President for Survey Research, and one of the study’s authors.


The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also conducted a nationwide survey on what home buyers are looking for in potential homes.


Aside from location and budget constraints (both personal issues) here’s a look at the top 4 things Boston area home buyers want in a home based on data from nationwide surveys conducted by both the NAHB and NAR.


Central air conditioning


According to data from the NAR, 60  percent of homeowners, regardless of age, considered air conditioning “very important,” and would prefer a home with it. In fact, nearly seven out of 10 homeowners surveyed said they would be willing to pay more for a home with central air conditioning.


With Boston temps soaring for the next few months, this is one feature we can all agree that we want!



New kitchen appliances


Who doesn’t love shiny new things, especially when they come in the form of a double-door refrigerator or a dynamic dishwasher? Home buyers prefer new kitchen appliances because it means less money spent on repairs or replacement. Not surprisingly, 69 percent of those polled in the NAR study said they were willing to spend more money for a home with new kitchen appliances.



Energy efficiency


The desire for new kitchen appliances is not really an extravagant indulgence; it also has a practical side. Regardless of age, everyone wants to save money on their utility bills. According to the NAHB study, some of the most wanted features in a home involve saving energy, i.e. energy-star rated appliances and windows, and an energy-star rating for the whole home.



Walk-in closet in master bedroom


According to the NAR data, a whopping 60 percent of homeowners are willing to pay extra for a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, with 44 percent of people between the ages of 35 and 54 viewing this feature as “very important.”  Many view walk in closets are status symbols while others value them for their space.


The need for space to organize and store items also ranked high in the NAHB survey. As people age, they tend to accumulate more belongings and therefore require space to put all that “stuff.”

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Top 3 Things Young Boston Home Buyers Want

Think all young Boston home buyers are looking for fireplaces, stainless steel appliances, and eat in kitchens? Then you are out of touch with the latest generation of home buyers. Having grown up with smartphones, apps, and the internet, millennials, have different wants and needs than previous generations when it comes to buying a home.  

The two biggest factors for any Boston home buyer are their preferred neighborhood and distance from work. Beyond that, first-time young home buyers tend to differ from people their parents or grandparents age when it comes to features such as eat-in kitchens, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

“It’s critical that real estate professionals understand what embodies a quintessential home for the Millennial generation, which vastly differs from the traditional norms of generations before them,” said Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC in a released statement.

Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate recently released a survey in which they polled 18-35 year olds nationwide asking what features they looked for in a home. Younger home buyers are looking for high-tech homes with flexible spaces they can customize for their lifestyle. And bigger isn’t always better. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, many millennial home buyers are seeking one story homes or properties with less square footage that are more efficient.

In 2012, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) also conducted a consumer preference survey seeking input from young home buyers. Based on these two national surveys and data from the National Association of Realtors, here are the top 3 features young Boston home buyers are looking for in their first Greater Boston home.  Real estate agents should pay attention, as Boston has become a very popular city for Milennials.

1.   Energy Efficient Homes

More than 80 percent of millennial home buyers said in the HAHB survey that they prefer a highly energy-efficient home that results in lower utility bills during the home’s lifetime over a lower-priced home without energy efficient features. Energy efficiency is important in Boston area homes  given our cold New England winters and sweltering summers. Millennials are looking for homes that feature ENERGY STAR-rated appliances; windows, doors and insulation that better control the home’s interior climate.

2.   High Tech Homes

It’s not surprising that a generation raised on technology values tech savvy elements in a home. According to the Better Homes and Garden survey, 56 percent of Millennials believe home technology capabilities are more important than “curb appeal.” If a home is not up-to-date with the latest tech capabilities, 64 percent of Millennials surveyed would simply not consider living there. In addition, 84 percent of the younger Americans surveyed believe that technology is an absolute essential to have in their homes. In fact, 41 percent of Millennials would be more likely to brag to a friend about a home automation system over a newly renovated kitchen.

3.   Flexible Spaces

Young home buyers want flexibility when it comes to the space they have in their home. They’re more interested in using their living room as a media room or an extra bedroom as a game room. Generation Y buyers in the NAHB survey said they favor media and game rooms more than any other specialty rooms for their next home.

Young home buyers reflected this sentiment in the Better Homes and Garden survey, with 77 percent of Millennials saying they would prefer an “essential” home compared to a grand stereotypical luxury home. This generation wants their living quarters to be as unique as they are; with 43 percent stating they prefer a home more customized and less “cookie cutter”.

Looking for a home as unique as you?  Boston Pads provides the largest database of Boston homes for sale available to help young home buyers find their perfect Boston home or condo. Contact us today to get your home search underway.

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