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Millennials expect innovation, convenience, and being able to stay connected – even from their homes.
Born between 1980 and 1996, millennials are the largest generation of home buyers today. Many are looking for homes with features they’ll be able to control from their smartphone or tablet – and they’re willing to pay more for those connections.
Savvy sellers, especially those in buyer’s markets, would be wise to consider their preferences, and making some improvements, to boost their home’s appeal with these buyers.
Eye of the Buyer
So, what are they looking for?
“Homebuyers are looking for technology to keep them safe and comfortable at home,” Rose Quint, associate vice president of Survey Research for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB®), told us.
NAHB surveys recent and prospective homebuyers about the features they’re looking for. Based on data collected in 2018, three of the four features buyers wanted were security-related – a security camera, a video doorbell and a wireless home security system.
With that in mind, here are the top features identified by the NAHB survey and where you can get more information.
Top 2019 Technology Home Features
Security Camera (46%)
Security cameras were the number one, most-desired technology item for home buyers. Cameras provide video of events (like someone testing your gate) and just their presence can be a deterrent to crime. You’ll pay $100 – $300 for each camera, plus you may need to pay for professional installation.
Video Doorbell (45%)
A video doorbell lets you see who’s at your door and even ask them what they want, from wherever you happen to be. Video doorbells are generally under $200, and available through retailers like Walmart and Home Depot®.
Ring Video Doorbell – $100
Programmable Thermostat (44%)
A programmable thermostat, usually priced under $200, lets you control your HVAC settings and usually save money by heating or cooling only when needed, which can save you 8% of your heating and cooling costs, or $50 a year.
Nest® Learning Thermostat – $250
Wireless Home Security System (40%)
Sensors throughout the home (like on windows and doors) feed data into a control panel able to notify you when events occur, such as a door opening.
Multi-Zone HVAC System (39%)
A zoned HVAC system lets you use multiple thermostats in different areas or zones of your home. This can save you up to 30% on energy spending. But, depending on how many zones you need, these systems can cost a bit, starting at about $2,000. Plus, you’ll probably need to work with a heating and air contractor to design and install a zoned system.
iHarmony® Four-Zone System by Lennox® – Prices Vary
Lighting Control System (36%)
These switches give you control over your lights through your smartphone or home automation/security system. Expect to spend about $100 each.
Wireless Home Audio System (33%)
These let you stream music from a smartphone, tablet, or computer to wireless speakers and components.
Bose® SoundTouch 30 – $399
Central Vacuum System (33%)
Central vacuum systems have outlets in your home where you can connect a hose to vacuum the area. The suction, powered by a unit in the garage or basement, is more powerful than you get with portable vacuums.
Husky® Central Vacuum Flex – $688
Energy Management System/Display (31%)
Energy systems, typically costing $100 – $200, monitor energy use in your home, so you can use the data to set energy budgets and make adjustments to save. Some systems monitor only one connected appliance, while others take a whole-house approach.
Eve Room Accessories – Prices Vary by Accessory
Remotely Controlled Smart Washer/Dryer (31%)
Smart washers and dryers, available from retailers like The Home Depot and Lowe’s®, have a built-in Wi-Fi communication card that you can access via an app for remote monitoring, control and notifications.
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