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If you are anything like me, you have watched your fair share of shows like “House Hunters” on HGTV. It always amazes me what is on the buyers’ list of must-haves. At the end of every episode, I try to guess which house they’re going to select based on the criteria they provided. Every time the home buyer makes their final decision, they seem overwhelmed with joy at the dream home they’re about to buy.

With the ever-changing landscape of real estate, and new generations entering the market, it can seem like everyone wants different things when searching for a new home. Many millennials are now entering the market and have different needs than the generations before them. Here are some must-haves that may surprise you about this generation.

Location, Location, Location

Some things remain the same across all generations; the importance of location. Research has shown that millennials want to live close to work and things to do. This a huge deciding factor for them when choosing a home.

You would think that urban areas would accommodate this request more than the suburbs, but this may not be 100% true. Those between ages 25 – 34 are less likely to live in urban areas. This illustrates that an urban lifestyle may not always be the perfect fit for this generation.


Automation is the way of the future. It allows for millennials to free up more time to do the things they want to do. When it comes to house hunting, it looks like they prefer everything to be automated.

“Millennial buyers are interested in smart homes with the most advanced technology. Our generation is the most digitally engaged, therefore, we want wireless thermostats, smart security systems, wireless speakers, Wi-Fi cooking ranges, smart locks, and eco-friendly automated light and shade controls,” said Steve Gold, a licensed real estate expert with Town Residential real estate in New York, and the Star of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York.”

Low maintenance

In the past, Gen Xers were looking for fixer-uppers. HGTV was leading the charge with encouraging home buyers to buy a house and fix it up. With the busy lifestyles most millennials lead, they are choosing to go against the norm. They want something move-in ready and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. They would rather spend their time with friends or traveling than work on their home.

Social media presence

Millennials do a large amount of their shopping online. House hunting is no different. They’re more likely to browse the web than visit homes they want to buy. They can see everything they need right from the comforts of the couch. If you want to sell your house to a millennial, it helps to have a large social media presence to get their attention. If you think a few pictures will fly, you’re mistaken. They need to see every room of the house.

Using other social media platforms can also inspire them to be interested in a home. Try Instagram stories or Snapchat to pique their interest. The more buzz you build around a home, the more likely this generation will be interested in buying it.

No direct communication

Millennials grew up attached to their phones. They browse social media while texting their friends. That makes for limited time to actually pick up a phone and call someone. When home shopping, they look for this same experience. If they have a question, they generally want it answered instantaneously while continuing their day. They don’t want to be constantly pushed or called. They need space to make their decision and if they want to buy a house, they’ll make it known.

Budget and practicality

There has been some negative talk about the way millennials choose to spend their money. Of course it makes sense to spend $10 on avocado toast! However, when it comes to buying a home, millennials will give up luxuries in order to stay on budget. They are practical and want to be able to enjoy their space with the money they have.

“Millennials value experiences and look for homes they can enjoy spending time in with friends and family. We are also educated on the market conditions and look for value when it comes to investing in real estate,” added Gold.

Quality of life

Millennials are slowly changing the housing market. Many desire some different criteria than past generations. Their priorities, to the way they shop, are different now more than ever. True value for them lies in the quality of life. They don’t want to give up their lifestyle to have their dream home.

“Millennials have repeatedly demonstrated that quality of life is a high priority for them — so much so that they would be willing to take a $7,600 pay cut for a better quality work life. However, the same idea rings true for other aspects of millennial life, and that should be reflected in the approach REALTORS take when showing them properties,” said  Peter Esho, founder and CEO of Cribz.

If you’re interested in selling your property to this generation, update your social media accounts, make your house move-in ready and make sure it is in the ideal location for food and social activities. The housing market may be changing, so be sure to stay with the trends.

If you’re a millennial home buyer, what amenities are you interested in? Let us know in the comments below!

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I am 26 years old-

    I live in a low cost of living region in Wisconsin away from my family in a high cost of living in New England. While we are paying down my student loans and have rented apartments for years, I am dreaming up what my dream house would be like:

    Prefab built exterior (round home)
    Masonry wood heater (save on $ and masonry adds value)
    Water pump
    Interior loft perhaps.

    As far as amenities, I need high ceilings after living in some 7′ ceiling apartments. Likewise, I want to build my own house since as an Industrial Engineer I know how to best design and ergonomically place the house to make it a great home. I’ve thought of a few other fun ammentiies to add, such as a slide from 2nd story to 1st, a mold-proof shower, etc

    I think a prefab house will be engineered with greater precision and standards than a site-built exterior.

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