The millennial generation — home buyers born between 1980 and 2000 — comprises the largest segment of home buyers, according to a 2014 National Association of Realtors study. Any renovations you make to your home should be geared toward attracting the eye of these young and savvy buyers.
What they want
“They’re either young professionals who prefer a turnkey home that needs little or no work,” says Margie Gundersheim, a real estate agent with Keller Williams in Newton, Mass, says in Must-Haves to Sell to Young Homebuyers in bankrate.com. “(Or they’re) creative/romantic buyers who want to invest sweat equity and money over time, and put their personal stamp on the property and add value for the future.”
Don’t be fooled into thinking that this group of buyers seem to be split into two completely different groups, they all share this similar list of must-have home features.
Updated kitchen and bath
If you can’t afford a complete remodel of your outdated kitchen and bathroom, then you must at least invest in new fixtures to give your space a modern, up to date look and feel. Choose timeless styles that appeal to a large market. Unlike a new roof or plumbing, bathroom and kitchen fixtures are a matter of taste, which means that your gleaming brass fixtures may be beautiful but likely won’t match the taste of many potential buyers.
Open floor plans versus formal dining rooms
A generation ago, formal dining rooms may have been on every buyer’s wish list. But today there really isn’t much appeal to the formal dining room, according to Lou Cardillo of The Lou Cardillo Team in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
“The kitchen has become the hangout room along with the family room,” says Cardillo. “An open space that can easily transition from kitchen to TV room is high on the list of the perfect home for young buyers. In essence, the kitchen is the new living room.”
Along similar lines, Curtis says today’s young buyers are also more attracted to an open floor plan, rather than a layout that compartmentalizes the home. Again, the reason has a lot to do with how younger homeowners entertain.
“They want people to flow through the home during gatherings, rather than be sectioned off in rooms,” Curtis says.
A professional remodeling company can evaluate your current layout and make suggestions to open up the floor plan based on your home’s structural challenges.
Remodeling the Home office
More than 13 million Americans work from home, and all signs point to that trend continuing, which makes a home office important for many buyers.
“Home offices have vast appeal,” says Paige Elliott, a real estate agent with Dave Perry-Miller & Associates in Dallas. “Most agents will point out that a room could be used as an office or other flex living space, especially if it is currently used or staged as a bedroom.”
Home offices aren’t just for those who work from home full time, according to Cardillo.
“As technology continues to make us more mobile, young buyers have more options than ever to work from home, depending on their job,” says Cardillo. “Having a dedicated space is important because it will help keep them focused and concentrated on work while they are at home on a Skype call, planning a presentation, setting up their workday or simply paying bills.”
The cable TV effect
Whether we admit it or not, we’ve all seen at least a few of the home shows on cable networks like TLC and HGTV. But while those shows can be fun and informative, they also do a lot to shape buyer expectations.
“Real estate shows on TV have impacted all buyers on the way they look at houses,” Elliott says. “But young buyers will often comment on how a house is, or isn’t, staged.”
Either way, staging is a critical part of selling your home, Hyland says.
“Staging a home is always helpful as it helps people to feel at home the moment they walk through the door, as opposed to having to imagine what it could look like once they move it,” Hyland says. “Buyer expectations are often met, and at times, exceeded by staging a home.”
Would your home stand up to the scrutiny of a millennial-generation buyer? Contact us today for a free consultation or visit our kitchen and bath showroom at 1410 Pine Ridge Road in Naples, Florida.