Although it was just recently that the years to describe the age of millennials was just confirmed, the oldest would be approaching their mid-thirties. People born from 1981-1996 are considered millennials. They are poised to do many things in the world, not the least of which is to start families and buy homes. In some cases, it would be their first home-buying experience.
There are things that millennials might be looking for in a home when they are searching on the MLS in Saskatoon (https://www.rexsaskatoon.com/listings/), and what makes them different from other generations of home buyers that came before them.
Who Are Millennials
This generation of people is different from any other that came before them. They have grown up in the digital age, where cell phones, apps, and social media started and increased as they were growing up which makes them able to adapt quickly to new technological changes. This has led them to be more in touch with the world, having information at hand in an instant.
They also tend to be more educated than previous generations with so much information they are able to access. With that in mind, they know how to use the information available to their advantage and that includes knowing what they want out of buying a home. At least, they understand what they would like and not like to see in a home.
With their school days recently behind them, millennials generally want to stay within their means, not wanting to buy until they have a sufficient down payment. This can be difficult for some, as student debt is a primary issue for many.
When they are looking for a home, they are more likely than any generation before them to seek out advice from friends and relatives before making a decision. They want to make sure they make the right choice and that the home they purchase will be one they live in and raise a family in, for a long time.
What Millennials Consider When Buying a Home
Most millennials believe that buying a home is a good investment. Also, millennials make up 50% of the Canadians who are considering the purchase of a home in the next two years. That is about 16% of the population and that makes for a lot of millennials entering the realm of home-ownership.
Here are a few things that millennials feel are important aspects to their home-ownership which could sway their decisions one way or another.
Home Design Trends
Pre-WWII- From Victorian to bungalows, Colonials to Tudors and Greek Revivals, just about any Old-World style architecture that displays charm and character.
Mid-Century- These are homes built from WWII to 1965. They may have flat or shallow-pitched roofing with angular edges and windows, as well as open floor plans.
Mediterranean- These homes have the look and style of an Italian coastal villa and may include features like stucco and multi-level rooftops, with grand covered entrances.
Out of the Box Homes
Some millennials may be looking for a home that does not fit the mold. These could be small-scale homes, or tiny homes, which have low maintenance and are more affordable. Some may even be portable. As having a small carbon footprint has moved from an ideology to reality in many cases, the idea of living in a tiny home, like a small townhouse or a specially built 500 square foot mobile house, is appealing to a young up-and-comer.
Going green is also a consideration for these first-time home buyers. They are very in tune with the climate change debate and taking the small carbon footprint a step further into a home that has some green features would be advantageous to them. Homes that feature efficient windows and doors, along with the most up-to-date heating and cooling systems or even solar panels could go a long way toward making a decision easier.
With family life just getting started, many millennials are also looking for those child-friendly homes in safe neighborhoods with good schools. These may also include fencing or tree lines to have a more secure and private feel.
Some millennials are not only looking for a live-in home, but they also want the entrepreneurial feel to home ownership. These people might be looking for an investment property that they can repair, flip, or rent out. While others still, might be looking for a home that they can partially rent out while they live in another part of the house. This type of arrangement would be ideal for those who still carry substantial student debt loads with aspirations of owning their own home.
What to Expect Inside the Home
We all want to have a home that has a good layout, interesting design, and overall positive feeling. For millennials, it is no different. What is different is that the living space they are looking for is a reflection of themselves while also being functional in the way that they work.
More and more, people are working on the move or from home. That charge is being led by millennials as new jobs are being created every year to utilize new forms of technology. Automation is making mobile work or remote work more prevalent as well. For that reason, the desired millennial home should have features that speak to this changing work dynamic.
While the open kitchen concept is not new, it is on the minds of many millennial home seekers. The kitchen should function as a social place that is versatile when it comes to its uses. It is not just the kitchen, though. It is the entire main floor layout. The fewer dividing walls, the better. The whole floor should flow from one area to the next rather than room to room, combining the kitchen with the family room and dining room. This is a social generation and the home will reflect that in its design.
Working from home is a growing trend in all of society. Millennials are actively finding ways to balance their work life and their home life with a blend of both. Having a sufficient private office space away from household distractions ticks a major box for that potential home buyer looking to make their income in their pajamas.
Just because they are young and likely working from home or in a mobile environment does not mean millennials have more time to maintain their homes. Just about every home buyer would rather have a completely finished product that requires nothing but a good cleaning every now and then. That is not realistic for the vast majority, however. Low maintenance is almost as good as no maintenance and that is something people think about when making a home purchase. Materials such as granite countertops and hardwood floors go a long way to making a house shine with a modern appeal. They will also be easy to clean with a quick wipe or mopping, allowing time for more important things.
Today’s new home-buyer is looking for more than just a backyard. They want those added touches like fire pits, comfortable entertaining areas, or just a quiet place to lounge in a hammock. In the summer months, those who work from home can have the option of working outside on nice days. A complete patio or fresh new deck can turn a backyard into an oasis that will call out to new buyers.
While not every home needs to be a zero-carbon footprint zone, probably the biggest thing on a millennial’s mind as a first-time home buyer is the appliances. New energy efficient appliances not only lower that carbon footprint but they offer a stylish look that is appealing to most and they are functional. A kitchen equipped with a 6-burner range and convection oven, along with stainless steel refrigerator and built-in dishwasher would certainly not be scoffed at in the least.
This is a generation that thinks ahead, considers every detail, and understands what they want. It is no surprise that a two-car garage is on the minds of many of these first-time buyers. They are planning for the family they want to start and are thinking of staying in the home for the long-haul. A double garage is part of the plan for growth within the home.
It is important to remember that it is difficult to plan for everything and impossible to please every buyer, even in a home that seemingly has everything. Whether you are thinking of selling your home or you are a millennial that is thinking of buying one, hopefully, this has helped direct you accordingly with some insight on what to think about.
As a millennial buyer, perhaps some of the things mentioned here have given you clarity on what you might be looking for. Maybe they have changed your mind about some things you thought you wanted in a new home purchase.
As a seller, you may now have a better understanding of what the millennial generation might be looking for in a home and you can take steps to address some of those desires. In doing so, you can transform your home into something each potential buyer can seriously consider, making both you and them happy.