As the Millennial Generation (roughly defined as those born between 1981 and 2000) matures and enters the home buying phase, the inevitable market question becomes: what are Millennial buyers looking for?
As with any generation, this population is too broad for such a question to have an easy answer, however Millennials especially eschew generalization, perhaps more than any others who have come before. Due to unique factors including growing up surrounded by advanced technology and the possibilities it offers; as well as parental encouragement to explore and discover one’s individuality, today’s young professionals are smart, savvy shoppers looking for a home that synchs to both wifi and to the soul.
This generation came of age at a time when the Internet and personal computers became not only a reality but a routine, forever altering our notions of information availability, accessibility, privacy, and identity. From the option to book your own vacation in your pajamas to the opportunity to code and create your own website, app or algorithm, Millennials have an intimate and comfortable relationship with customization, and his or her choice in a home will reflect this. The Millennial buyer comes to the table with strong opinions in designing or buying a home that can seamlessly suit his or her lifestyle and aesthetic preferences, as just as many young buyers want a contemporary style as seek out more vintage architectural models. The perfect home may be a state-of-the-art craftsman bungalow nestled in a traditional neighborhood development, or a contemporary urban loft. In this market it is all about finding a home as unique as the homeowner.
There is also a penchant for quality over quantity, perhaps best illustrated by the ubiquitous miracle of the iPhone and other smartphones that effectively allow for work and play from a single portable device rather than redundant technological litter. In this same vein, a Millennial buyer is more likely to choose a home that cozily suits his or her lifestyle, opting perhaps for the row home close to public transportation, or a Victorian near the farmers market and coffee shop rather than a McMansion in the suburbs. Perhaps more than anything else, what the Millennial buyer is looking for is authenticity and meaningful connection. According to multiple surveys, Millennials are more likely to define success on their own terms, with the majority valuing friends and family, personal satisfaction, and helping others above the status of the corner office or other traditional benchmarks of achievement.