Millennials are the largest generation in U.S. history. Now that they have entered adulthood, they have also become today's largest home buying generation. According to HousingWire, millennials currently make up 32 percent of the U.S. housing market, and 68 percent of all first-time homebuyers belong to this generation.1 When it comes to the types of homes they want, millennials have unique and specific desires that differ from previous generations.
Open Interior Layout
Unlike previous generations, millennials prefer an open floor plan that easily facilitates interaction between friends and family. Lou Cardillo, operating partner and broker at The Lou Cardillo Home Selling Team in New York, told Bankrate millennials are relatively uninterested in formal dining rooms and prefer floor plans that turn their kitchens and family rooms into one big open space for easy socializing.2
Bankrate reports the appeal of the home office for millennials. Advancements in technology have made it easier to work from anywhere, so many will work from home some of the time. A home office can be a very appealing feature to accommodate the tech-centered lifestyle.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that overall, millennials want their homes to have fewer walls and partitions.3 This is in part due to making socializing easier, but creating multifunctional spaces is also a big factor.
Budget-conscious millennials prefer smaller homes. Arthur Lasky, an architect at Silberstang Lasky Architects in New York explained to NAR that in smaller homes many homeowners use one space for a variety of functions. Open floor plans make it easier to create multifunctional spaces, such as a dining room that is also an exercise area.
HousingWire also said that 84 percent of millennials want their home to have three or more bedrooms and 52 percent want two or more. In addition, 35 percent want a single-story home. The majority, 75 percent, are interested in a single-family detached home.
Millennials love their gadgets, and many of them will be uninterested in a home that cannot accommodate their plugged-in lifestyles. One major concern for millennial homebuyers is whether a property they are considering has good cell service. Landlines have become more or less irrelevant today, and it is difficult to function in an environment without cell phones service.
Rick Davidson, president and CEO of Century 21 Real Estate, told MarketWatch that a Century 21 survey found 28 percent of single homeowners between 25 and 35 consider cell phone coverage a major deciding factor when considering the purchase of a home.4
Beyond cell phone service, NAR emphasized the need for modern homes to be equipped with plenty of outlets that allow millennial homeowners to charge their devices from a variety of areas in the home.
Millennials are too busy getting the most out of life to spend exorbitant amounts of time and energy on home maintenance. Cardillo explained to Bankrate that features requiring little to no upkeep are the most appealing to millennial homebuyers. This means they prefer hardwood floors to carpet and they look for granite countertops. NAR discussed a few other low-maintenance features millennials prefer, such as vent-free fireplaces and floors made from porcelain tile.
Jack Curtis, a Keller Williams Real Estate Agent in Ohio, also spoke with Bankrate about how millennials view maintenance. Since they often have small budgets, he explained, they will likely be uninterested in a home that requires work to be done on a kitchen or bathroom, as those two rooms are the most expensive to renovate.
Millennials love to save and, as such, they are looking for energy-efficient homes that can help them keep utility bills low. In fact, James Roche, CEO of houseplans.com, which provides home design and remodeling plans, told MarketWatch that this desire to save on utility bills is one reason millennials also prefer smaller homes. They do not see a need to pay to heat and cool rooms they do not use frequently. Instead, they want small, green homes that put money back in their pockets. In fact, HousingWire touted energy-efficient appliances as one of six top millennial-desired features, along with a laundry room, exterior lighting, storage options, a living room and a front porch.
According to HousingWire, the top five factors millennials use to determine which neighborhood they want to live in are the quality of the neighborhood, its proximity to work, the affordability of the homes, how close it is to their loved ones and the quality of the school district. In addition, 50 percent of millennials want to live within walking distance of amenities like shops and restaurants, 49 percent want to live in the suburbs and 21 percent want to live in an urban environment.
3The National Association of Realtors