By: Demetrios Salpoglou
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”.
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