There is a new homebuyer in town who is nothing like the homebuyers of the past. They have wants and needs unlike past buyers who lived by the mantra, “bigger is better.” The younger homebuyer is much more considered or woke, in their lingo, when it comes to buying a home. Let’s take a look at what today’s homeowners want in a home and uncover the top 5 ways homeowner needs have changed for this new decade.
Space To Socialize
Today’s homeowners have made hanging out at home a social choice. One of the biggest trends over the last few years, which is no longer a trend but a must have is an open kitchen or open concept living areas. More people cook at home because its is cheaper and more importantly one can control the food quality. People are embracing a holistic approach of entertaining at home, which is what open spaces facilitate. A family room attached to an open kitchen which offers space for both adults and children to co-exist is vital. Kids aren’t automatically exiled to basement playrooms like we were forty years ago. Homework often occurs in the kitchen. (Even if people are on their smart phones, they are still in the room together.)
The old days are long gone, of mom being closed off in the kitchen. Today families enjoy their homes together. Bedrooms are for sleeping. Family rooms and kitchens are for living. Completely enclosed dining rooms are opened up to create social spaces, which makes them more efficient and more usable.
Bigger Is No Longer Better
Today’s homebuyers are surprisingly more mindful of how they spend their money when it comes to buying a home. They don’t want to pay for more than they need. They look at the rooms and spaces with an eye on cost particularly when it comes to maintenance, heating & cooling, and usefulness. For example, those huge master bedrooms with enough room for a separate seating area and bedroom sized walk-in closets, are considered by many as wasteful. Who needs really all that space? A bedroom is to sleep in, not live in. Closets are for a wardrobe of useful clothing. It is common practice to sell off unnecessary clothing and accessories at local consignment stores, or app based sites like Poshmark, or thredUP, therefore huge closets aren’t in big demand. Rooms must be the right size, not huge but appropriate for what happens in the room, not more.
Photo: HGTV Rachel Whyte
Ever wonder why there is a resurgence in the interest of Mid Century Modern homes? It is because they are not too big, not too small and were designed to efficiently use space which also has an element of style. Plenty of the once popular ranch homes are being reimagined with a mid century makeover. Even homebuyers with lots of money don’t want the McMansions anymore.
Today’s homebuyers are concerned with their carbon footprint, a term their parents never knew when buying a home. When they look at a home in need of major renovations or updating, their mind races to how much all of that is going to add to a landfill. They would rather buy a home which is move-in ready.
A home with energy efficient windows is much more desirable than a home with old single pane glass or storm windows. Younger homeowners like things which are energy efficient, such as a tankless hot water heater and sustainable, environmentally friendly materials like bamboo or cork flooring and they contact Electrical Contractor Indianapolis whenever they need electrical and lighting services. They are interested in protecting the environment as much as possible.
A dark home or room which requires one to turn on the lights in the day time is not acceptable. The modern home must maximize opportunities for daylighting. Why pay for electricity when natural light is available? The ideal home will have windows, skylights, wall openings all situated to take advantage of direct and indirect sunlight where needed. This is also why one of the first things buyers do with older homes is tear down walls, open space lets light in! Sometimes a coat of white paint can be a great fix. Save deeply saturated colors for furnishings and art if the room does not offer enough light to keep it from feeling like a dungeon. At one time white walls were considered as ‘not done,’ today people recognize the value of reflecting light, white walls are superb, they feel fresh and clean.
Green space is important. The ability to have a small garden which allows one to grow healthy food for their family has much more value than a tennis court or another large impermeable concrete or hard surfaced area. Lush trees with a big canopy to capture rainwater and provide shade as well as soundproofing are important. But this is just one green component there are many more.
- Green matters in terms of sustainability and repurposing of building materials.
- Maximizing efficiencies towards lowering energy consumption
- Reduce impact on inhabitants by improving indoor air quality
- Minimizing environmental impact of the life cycle of the home
- Locating a home to minimize travel
Let each of these needs serve as important guidelines to aging boomers who look to downsize and sell their homes. They’ll be met with some shocking changes when it comes to what millennials and the younger set needs in a home compared to why they bought their homes. People live differently today than they did a few years ago. Waste is not tolerated in any capacity whether it is wasted space or energy inefficiencies. Building a new home, though it may be ‘green’ by design may be the least environmentally conscious decision one can make. In much of the country there is ample supply of existing homes which perfectly align with today’s trend towards reuse, repurpose and recycle.
The biggest home trend today is towards right-sized rooms, rooms which are sized for the purpose of and time spent in the room. We no longer desire a formal living room plus a family room, formal dining room and expansive home theater. Families are smaller, modern homebuyers will choose a three bedroom home for their family over a five bedroom home, because it works. The appearance and gratification achieved from making a thrifty or smart decision has replaced the need to impress by buying the biggest home possible. Homeownership for 2020 and beyond has changed.