A survey done by Consumer Reports lets us into the minds of millennials when it comes to what today’s buyers are looking for. Now, before you write off the wants and needs of a millennial, you should know they accounted for 32% of purchased homes in 2014. Consumer Reports spoke with 1,573 millennials to learn what decisions need to be made to begin improvements on their home and its final value.
Kitchens hold a lot of power when it comes to a prospective buyer, especially first-time buyers. “Modern/Updated Kitchen” topped the list of ideal home features in a recent survey of millennials reported by Consumer Reports. Updated and modern kitchens accounted for more than a third of respondents.
If you’re planning to sell, don’t strip your kitchen down bare. Smaller investments over time can prove to have a more serious impact with potential buyers. Calculated roughly at $5,000, you should be able to add a new range of appliances, brand new countertops and floors that will bring your kitchen up to date and entice buyers.
Looking for something a little more cost effective? Applying a fresh coat of paint to the walls and cabinets and changing the hardware throughout the kitchen can bring a fresh look to your kitchen space.
Stainless Steel — Used in home and professional kitchens for decades, stainless steel finished appliances creates a fresh, clean and sleek atmosphere to kitchens. Giving your kitchen a new contemporary look, it will turn some buyers’ heads and let them know appliances have been “updated.” Not a fan of plain stainless steel? There are new versions of stainless steel that come in black or darker options to give your kitchen a one-up.
The Floor Plan
In today’s market, bigger isn’t always better. You can strategically increase the amount of living space without breaking the bank to boost your home’s value. An “open floor plan with flexible living space” was second to an updated kitchen on millennials’ list of most wanted features.
Finishing a basement or a converted garage space is the most common way to add functional and useable square footage to a home. Younger buyers will envision the additional living spaces as a dedicated office, especially if they work from home. At the other end of the spectrum, older buyers use their converted spaces to help entertain and care for their families.
Flex Room — Also known as double duty rooms, you will see flex rooms being offered as an additional living space that will be able to serve a variety of purposes.
Taking appropriate steps to lower your home’s energy cost will save you money for as long as you live there (and then some) and can be expected to be a major selling point. “Energy-Efficient” was second to a “safe community” on a list of amenities that would most influence a buying decision, according to a 2015 survey by the National Association of Home Builders.
High-Efficiency Windows — Windows that have been sealed and certified by Energy Star can lower your home’s energy bill by 7 to 15 percent.
LED Lights — You will find the occasional listing that promotes “green” areas of the home by mentioning the installation of LED lighting.
Be selective when it comes to the installation of “smart-home” products. There tends to be a large number of bad returns on investment when it comes to high-tech features in a home. Technologies tend to evolve quickly. What you install today, or during the length of time you’re in your home, might be popular or relevant by the time you’re ready to sell.
There are certain smart-home devices that can add home value and spark interest in younger buyers such as programmable thermostats. There are lines of products such as lights, door locks and security systems that appeal to younger buyers as well. Millennial home-buyers grew up during the age of the smartphone and are used to controlling things at their fingertips.
Programmable Thermostat — The Nest is a widely popular option to be installed in homes and is known to be operable for people of many ages. They can be controlled from both your smartphone or a computer.