After almost a decade of a positive housing momentum, the Covid 19 has upended what was to be a banner year for real estate. But with the Fed holding down interest rates and as we adjust to a “new normal,” there is still strong demand. For some, the pandemic has created an urgency for more space. The National Association of Realtors’ Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report states millennials represent the largest group of new home buyers entering the market.
So what are the features millennials and new homeowners are looking for?
First, location, location, location. Your property should have access to good schools, shopping, and strong cell phone and internet service.
Second, remember not the over improve the property. Make the upgrades that will please the buyer but are commensurate with the other homes in the neighborhood. Research homes selling in your area and make upgrades that are slightly better.
Updated Kitchen and Bath
An updated kitchen and bath are still at the top of the list. For both, determine if the existing cabinetry can be repainted, refaced, or will need to be replaced. Add new hardware, fixtures, and sinks. If you have the budget, consider manufactured stone countertops with a backsplash in neutral tones. A kitchen with new appliances will make it easier for the millenial and first time home buyer. Frequently, Lowe’s or Home Depot offer matching kitchen appliance sets with incentives.
In the bath, replace the toilet and sink and add new fixtures. Sometimes the existing tile can be used, but if the color is dated or the tile is cracked and moldy, re-tile the bath/shower surround.
Open Floor Plan
The open floor concept creates the flexibility and space millennials desire. With square footage at a premium, the days of a separate, formal dining area passé. If possible, remove non-load bearing walls to combine the kitchen, dining, and family room for a spacious feel. A patio area to the open floor plan adds an extra “room” without a lot of cost.
Do not overlook the need for your property to meet the technology needs for this generation. A signal booster will extent coverage within the home. Add smart thermostats and doorbells that can be controlled from an app. Kerron Stokes, a real estate agent with Re/Max Leaders in Denver suggests swapping out standard outlets for ones that include USBs for charging, because when it comes to millenials, “connectivity is king.”
Everyone is looking for more space (hence the move). Add shelving and a washer/dryer hookup in the garage and a walk-in pantry for the kitchen.
Lastly, when staging your home, create entertainment areas that they can envision themselves in. According to Than Merrill “not only will today’s best new home features help sellers find buyers, but they should simultaneously award their owners with higher returns.”