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What millennial home buyers want in a home

By Berit Griffin February 12, 2014

Right or wrong, the millennial generation — those born between 1980 and 2000 — have earned a reputation for being fickle. But according to a 2013 National Association of Realtors study, many millennials are looking for the same thing when home shopping.

Take notice, because millennials now represent the second-biggest segment of the buyer market, trailing only Generation X, or those born from 1965-1979. Millennial buyers will only continue to grow the segment as more finish schooling, secure jobs and start a family. (Although a growing number of millennials are buying homes before marriage.)

So, what is it these millennials are looking for in a home? According to, a mix of practicality, function and a little gloss. The mortgage site spoke with several real estate agents throughout the country to get a better grasp of these needs.

Updated kitchens and baths
From “The primary reason younger buyers seek updated kitchens and baths is because they have limited budgets,” said Jack Curtin, a real estate agent in Dublin, Ohio. “Most of their savings will go toward the down payment and furnishings. Kitchens and bathrooms are also the most expensive parts of a home to update, and young homeowners cannot afford to sink a lot of money into those areas.”

Home office
From “As technology continues to make us more mobile, young buyers have more options than ever to work from home, depending on their job,” said Lou Cardillo of The Lou Cardillo Team in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. “Having a dedicated space is important because it will help keep them focused and concentrated on work while they are at home on a Skype call, planning a presentation, setting up their workday or simply paying bills.”

Good location “My younger buyers look for properties that are in proximity to public transportation and that have a good walking score,” said Allison Nichols, an agent with Related Realty in Chicago.

Low maintenance
From “Most young homebuyers grew up watching their parents spend weekends with their honey-do lists, or they had chores to do on the weekends,” Cardillo says. “Most young buyers are not going to follow in their (parents’) footsteps. They don’t want to do that stuff. … They want their weekends to themselves and don’t really want to be cleaning gutters or cutting the grass.”

Energy efficiency
From “Today, not only younger buyers, but buyers in general, are looking for energy-efficient homes,” said Jeff Hyland of Hilton & Hyland real estate agency in Beverly Hills, Calif. “And if they are not already set up (for energy efficiency), then the buyers will often factor those costs into their budgets so they can do it after the close of escrow.”

What’s the most popular demand you hear from millennial buyers? To see more trends form, click here