Trends come and go in the real estate industry and have evolved over the last couple of years. According to the National Organization of Realtors, millennials in their low to mid-thirties make up the highest percentage of home buyers with baby boomers not far behind. These buyers are looking for five key attributes. Homes meeting these criteria will have greater home value in the eyes of these buyers.
Low Mortgage Interest Rates
Interest rates have been at historically low levels in recent months helping to keep life pumping through the real estate industry. This has allowed more buyers to qualify for mortgages, allowing them to purchase. A few years ago, millennials graduated from college and had a lot of student loan and credit card debt. As these people reach their low to mid-thirties, much of this debt has been paid off and they've had the chance to save money for a down payment on a house.
Millennials and baby boomers alike, are looking to live close to family members. Millennials seek help from their parents when it comes to childcare, home repairs or help with watching their pets while they travel and work. Baby boomers on the other hand are aging and want to be near their children and grandkids. They want to live near their children so they can age-in-place and still have help right around the corner. Many first-time are seeking urban areas so they can walk to restaurants, stores, exercise facilities and other places of recreation.
Home Design and Layout
Today's buyers are looking for home designs and layouts that can accommodate their current needs and wants. Many buyers don't want a formal living room or dining room. They prefer an open concept with a great room and a large, inviting kitchen. As more people work from home, they need a home office that's private and away from the open space. If you're part of the baby boomer set, chances are you're looking for a one story home without stairs.
Low Maintenance and Tech Savvy Homes
Today's buyers, especially millennials and baby boomers, want homes that require little maintenance. Millennials work long hours and want to travel. They are starting families and don't have the time or want the expense of keeping up with their home's maintenance. Both groups are savvy and understand the value of modern, long lasting materials. Popular now are front porches and decks made out of plastic, composite material that look like wood and wood-look porcelain and tile flooring that don't require care that hardwood floors require. They want technology for their "smart homes" to make their lives easier such as setting their thermostat and turning on and off lights with an app on their phones. Home security systems with cameras that provide video and audio are a key attribute as well.
Home Updates and Upgrades
Home buyers are still looking for earth tones when it comes to the décor in their homes. Today's en trend color are shades of gray. Buyers are often looking for homes with light gray walls and bright white ceilings, cabinets, doors and trim. The mixed-wood look is also in. Darker, wood-look porcelain and tile flooring is sought-after as well. For those preferring carpeting over wood floors, carpeting with speckles of gray and beige are popular. White granite or quartz countertops are a must have in an up to date kitchen.
In today's market, buyers are looking for homes that are move-in ready and are willing to pay a higher price for what they perceive as a higher home value. They are willing to pay extra to accommodate their tastes.