Does Your Austin Home Appeal to the Largest New Demographic of Homebuyer?
by Alex Lewis
on Thursday, February 8th, 2018 at 3:38pm.
Compared to previous generations, millennials have been cautious to enter the real estate market. Coming of age right at the most spectacular housing boom and bust in modern history—the 2008 Recession—made for a generation of observant and media-savvy homebuyers. But the tide is finally turning.
Based on recent data from Nationwide Mortgages, 66.1% of Millennials' report that they plan to buy a home in the next 5 years. Are you ready for this dynamic demographic of homebuyer?
It’s good news for the real estate world that 65.3% of millennials associate home buying with achieving the American Dream. That’s more than any other generation! Millennials put a high personal value in achieving the milestone of buying a home—precisely because it is harder to do with today’s increasing education and healthcare costs.
Buying a home is a big deal to millennials—but it’s something they believe in and are eager to do when the time is right. This generation sees home ownership as a really good investment in their future.
But there are nuanced characteristics that currently distinguish millennials in the real estate market. Here’s what you should know if you hope to make your Central Texas home stand out to most millennial homebuyers:
They expect to find your home (looking good) online
Millennials are mobile researchers. With many graduating high school and college during the advent of smartphones, they use the internet to make educated purchase decisions. A whopping 99% of millennials search for homes online. As a home seller, that means your property needs to hit certain online criteria if you hope to gain much traction:
Provide clear, professional photos of your home. Photos really matter in today’s high-tech market. Finding a high-performance phone camera or borrowing a professional camera to take photos is the standard, not the extra mile. When millennials see poor quality photos, it appears lazy on the side of the homeowner. Think of your home photos like customer service: Quality is the standard and anything less is a bad experience.
List your home on mobile-friendly websites. Millennials use their phones more than any other generation to research prospective homes. Not every website is designed for mobile devices, and a slow-loading, discombobulated website on a phone can be enough to make a millennial click away without so much as reading about the listed home. Find listing websites optimized for mobile usage.
Include generous information about the home itself and surrounding area. Minimal information can appear as though you are hiding something under the rug. When ample information is disclosed about your home and neighborhood, that disclosure communicates honesty and transparency.
Raised on the internet, millennials avoid anything online that looks remotely like a scam. On the other hand, 76% reported that they drove by a property after being impressed by an online ad. 64% did a walkthrough of a listing they had found online.
Luxury apartments have influenced their expectations
Millennials have changed the ways apartments are designed. As a generation statistically slower to purchase their first homes, the market experienced a large growth in higher-income renters. Apartment architects kept up with the demand, providing luxurious apartments with generous amenities to satisfy this renting demographic that has more monthly income to spend on their rental space.
Now that millennials are entering the homebuying market, their expectations have been influenced by their experience of luxury apartments. This means a few things for your home:
46% want a luxury kitchen
47% say they want solar panels and efficient energy storage to save on the cost of utilities and lower their carbon footprint
75% say they want new appliances for their home
Cell reception/internet providers are important factors that millennials consider
65% of millennials report that proximity to their job is the most important factor in the home buying process
This will not be their last home
Most millennials consider home ownership a stepping stone to upgrading: 68% of millennials compared to 36% for all buyers. It makes sense that home buying is more temporary for younger homeowners who will most likely upgrade as they start families and move up in the world.
More than other generations, millennials don’t want to bear the brunt of renovations: 48% of home buyers report wanting a home that is move-in ready. This makes sense in light of the 46% of millennials who are staring down $25,000+ in student loans. With so much student loan debt, they report that saving for that first down payment is the most difficult part of the home-buying process.
Money on their minds
Millennials have been raised on short-term rental innovations like Airbnb. They know that a home can be more than just a place to rest after work—it can be a place for making some extra income.
Opportunities for investing in townhouses and homes with extra rooms that can put more money in their pockets every month is high on many millennial agendas according to the Wall Street Journal.
But millennials don’t merely want to monetize their homes; they also want to be able to work comfortably from home. This means that, in the age of freelancing, side-projects, and the gig economy, home offices are a major plus to millennials homebuyers.
Millennials trust real estate agents
Whether it is simply because they are first-time homebuyers or perhaps because they trust the experts to help when it comes to a big purchase decision—either way, 92% of millennials are buying homes with the help of a realtor. 74% of millennials actively want help and quality information in navigating the home buying process.