Home features that buyers really want

5 Features That Make Your Home More Attractive to Young Homebuyers

POSTED ON in Global Blogs

Home features buyers really wantToday’s homebuyers skew younger. The National Association of Realtors “Home Buyer and Seller Trends Report 2017” finds that Millennials make up 34 percent of the buyer market. Generation X is next with 28 percent. Together, these younger generations control more than 60 percent of the homebuying power.

If you’re thinking about selling your home this year, it’s important to know your pool of buyers. Millennial and Generation X homebuyers are more likely to be married and have children living in the home. Their stage in life shapes their preferences when shopping for houses.

What young buyers look for in a home

1. Open concept

How to achieve an open concept

Open floor plans have been trending up for years. The kitchen and family room are prime time hangouts for families. Young homebuyers prefer seamless flow to sectioned-off rooms. For families with small children, an open concept lets parents keep an eye on the kids while they prepare meals.

What you can do

If you already have an open floor plan, you’re in good shape. If not, there are a few tricks to make your floor plan feel open without tearing down any walls.

  • Let the light in. Daylight makes a room feel larger. Increase the size of your existing windows to bring in more light. Or simply change your window treatments so your windows are open and unobstructed. You can also add a large mirror to the wall across from or perpendicular to your window to reflect daylight throughout your room.
  • Change colors. The light guidelines apply to your decor and furniture as well. Dark colors make a room feel much smaller than it actually is. Add in lighter colors where you can. Paint dark cabinets or walls, swap out decor, or get a new area rug for staging purposes.
  • Liven up your walls. Chair rails, wainscoting, and molding differentiate your wall space and trick your eyes into thinking the ceiling is higher. Choose a slightly darker shade of wood or paint than the color of your wall to increase the effect and make your room appear bigger.

2. Curb appeal

Features that sell a house - curb appeal

This is a no-brainer. The exterior of the home is the first thing homebuyers see when they pull up for an open house. And even before that when they search new homes online. The outside of your home has to make a great first impression and reflect what the homebuyer sees in their future lifestyle.

What you can do

Quality windows are a big contributor to curb appeal. The majority of young homebuyers desire a new build. Older homes that still look new have a better chance at appealing to these buyers. Match your window style to your home’s architecture so the exterior has a consistent look and doesn’t suffer from multiple personalities.

You can also up the curb appeal with changes to your front entrance. A new or newly painted door, rugs, mats, seats, benches, wreaths, and plants are several updates that add style to your front entry at a low cost.

Things like a fresh coat of paint, shutters and even landscaping can also freshen up your home’s curb appeal.

3. Home office

What do home buyers look for? Home office

People who work from home are becoming more and more common. Even if they work remotely just one or two days a week, a home office is a must-have for remote workers. A space in the house dedicated to work makes them feel more comfortable and productive away from the office.

What you can do

Declutter your own home office to create an inviting workspace that homebuyers can picture working from. Remove papers, picture frames, candles, and other decor from the desk — leaving just your computer and office essentials.

Don’t have a home office? Stage a little-used guest bedroom as a home office to help potential owners envision the possibilities. Or clear out a corner or nook of a large room that can be easily converted into functional office space.

4. Smart home technology

Home features - smart home technology

In just over 10 years, the smartphone has gone from luxury to necessity for most Americans. Now they expect the same technology throughout the home. And want to use their phones for convenient control of their home tech.

What you can do

There are a number of ways to integrate smart home technology into your house. Smart thermostats, light bulbs, smoke detectors, and window treatments are all increasing in popularity. Upgrading your home with a few smart household items is a small, but influential way to entice the techy homebuyer. Regardless of the features you decide to go with, make sure you highlight those on your for sale listing so potential buyers are aware.

5. Energy efficiency

Home features - energy efficiency

Homebuyers consider the cost of owning the home — not just the purchase price. Anything that will save them money is an appealing feature. Especially for homebuyers with children or looking to start a family in a new home. Energy efficient appliances, windows, doors, and fixtures are at the top of the list for young buyers.

What you can do

Almost 90 percent of homebuyers want ENERGY STAR® certified windows.1 More than a third consider them a must-have. Find any windows that need replacement and upgrade to energy efficient windows.

ENERGY STAR appliances are even higher on the list of desirables for homebuyers, rating as the most wanted feature. Young buyers look for quality and brand name in their appliances. If you opt to upgrade your refrigerator, washer, or dryer, stick to the most popular manufacturers.

You can also up the energy efficiency in your home by adding tint and insulation to windows or getting a new door. Many front entry and patio doors have energy-saving features like multiple panes of glass or low-E glass coating.

Home features buyers want

It’s hard to make major improvements to your home knowing you won’t be around to experience the benefits and savings. But investing in upgrades in the areas young homebuyers crave most has its own benefit:

A SOLD sign in your front yard.

1 Housing Preferences of the Boomer Generation, National Association of Home Builders, 2016, p.19

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