Monday, July 11, 2016

What Millennials Want

Since the average age of first-time homebuyers is now around 32, we are dealing with millennials now.  The average age of a seller is 57, and the average age of a real estate agent is about the same.  That means  that both sellers and agents have to educate themselves about what's changed in buyer preferences.  I had friends who were the above age, with an agent of the same "vintage", and she told them that their home was perfect.  Although it was highly desirable, and in a great location, selling quickly, millennial buyers most decidedly had opinions on the décor and finishings.

Millennials want, above all, convenient, walkable locations, and homes that need no work at all.  It would be hard to say which of those things would come first, and they are very different--one you can fix, and one you cannot.  Flippers and investors take note, because you can definitely make money on properties that just need some updating and are in desirable places.

What do they want to see inside a home?  An open floor plan.  Soapstone counters.  Gray walls.  Big, luxurious bathrooms.  Fancy appliances and fixtures.  The list could go on, but you get the idea.  DIY is OUT. 

Where do they want to live?  In cities, near cities, and near town centers.  How much of the purchase do they want to finance?  All of it, or as much as is possible.  At current rates, almost anyone would make that choice.  Who else is involved in the decisions?  Their parents.  I've dealt with more parents in the past few years than in my entire career.  The helicopter parent has landed!

We certainly sell homes to non-millennials, and we certainly sell homes that don't match the above descriptions.  However, it's always worth knowing what the trends are.  But don't wait too long to act, if that's your intent, because tastes will change again; that's the one constant in real estate.