As you can imagine, I'm always trying to figure out what's the latest in the housing market. So when I read an article last week about what Millenials want when they buy a house
, it struck me that it's probably a similar list for all buyers. Do different age groups really have different wants and needs? Or are they pretty similar? I've highlighted some of their observations and sprinkled in some of mine to come up with 7 key requirements. But I'm curious about your thoughts!
1) HGTV Ready Living
- so rather than invest a lot of sweat equity, buyers want a house that is already updated with beautiful finishes. Watching TV that shows the challenges with a renovation might have driven some of this - who wants to live through the roller coaster of surprises and expenses with a major renovation! And while buyers may be willing to make a few changes - say change carpet to hardwood or upgrade appliances - there is a '3 strikes and you're out' mentality. This says they will make 2 updates, but more than that is too much.
|Today's buyers was the 'After' kind of house|
2) Smaller, Low Maintenance - I don’t hear from many buyers that want a big home. A smaller home with a manageable yard are tops on most lists. In large part this is because buyers want to be doing something fun, not spending their weekends mowing a giant yard or painting the house. Farewell McMansions!
3) Sense of Community
- while historically buyers want an easy commute to the office, today's buyers often work from home. And since they spend a lot more time in their neighborhood, they want to have a place to do more than lay their head at night. Walkable neighborhoods - where they can get a cup of coffee, a snack or a meal. And just as important are playgrounds and gathering places.
4) A place for family
- whether family is a couple of kids or a rescue dog, buyers want a great environment for every member of the family. So that can be a fantastic school system or a great dog park or a special park or beach where they can spend time together. And outdoor space is critical!
|Morning romp on the beach!|
5) Open Floor Plans
- okay, we've heard this one for awhile. And when I talk with local realtors, they tell me they hear this request every single day
. The prediction of the death of the open floor plan appears to be exaggerated!! This seems to be true for all age groups - whether it's a young family that wants to keep an eye on the kids or empty nesters that do a lot of entertaining. And forget about formal rooms with lots of dark furniture. Today's buyers want bright, sleek finishes.
|Knock down those walls!!! Buyers want open floor plans|
6) Home Office
- because people are working from home, they want a home office. It doesn’t need to be a big room, just a place to close the door to do teleconferences and get away from the buzz of the family. And often they need 2, because sharing an office with your spouse isn't always an easy thing to do. I might have a bit of personal experience with this one J
|Why does an exhaust hood need WiFi???|
- this is one that I find challenging, in large part because technology is changing so fast, what works for today could be 'old school' in a couple of years (or less!). But as a minimum, buyers want features like built-in USB chargers, smart thermostats, video doorbells and wi-fi enabled appliances. (Note: the exhaust hood over the stove in my house is wi-fi enabled. Why??? I've never felt the need to turn my exhaust fan on when I'm away from home. It just seems like some sort of marketing gimmick. Is it just me?) And of course you could get much more sophisticated with blinds/drapes that open with your cell phone, programmable 'mood' lighting, security systems and more!
So what do you think? What features are 'must haves' for you and your family and what can you do without? I'd love to hear your thoughts!