Millennials are changing the real estate market, which is good news for you if you slid into this demographic right behind the Gen X’ers. It’s easier than ever to find housing styles that cater to your needs, preferences, values and lifestyle, so don’t be afraid to look for them. Here are just a few features to watch for in today’s home builds for the modern buyer.
1. Smart Technology
This is probably the biggest way that new homes are catering to the technology savvy generation. From thermostats that anticipate your habits to digital security measures, “smart” technology is on the rise in every aspect of home living, so you’ll need a place that includes plenty of outlets, charging stations and WiFi hot spots.
In the 21st century, digital security is what you’ll need to protect your home and family, and modern homes incorporate it with everything from surveillance cameras to outdoor vibration sensors. Your doors can even be wirelessly locked and unlocked using your smartphone for added vigilance. Gone are the days of keys hidden under fake rocks.
2. Flex Rooms
A flex room is a space that can be modified to suit a variety of needs. For example, it might start as a dining area but later morph into a home office. It might go through a few years as a nursery before growing into a child’s playroom. Essentially, it’s a space that offers you plenty of customization options without being designed for any particular purpose.
Are you more conscious of your environmental footprint than your parents? This is a common realization for millennials moving into Gen X homes that don’t offer solar power or energy-efficient appliances.
If you’re trying to live a greener life, look for new homes that have been built with a modern sustainability mindset. Even if it’s just low-VOC drywall or a few photovoltaic panels on the roof, it’s a step in the right direction.
4. Low-Maintenance Materials
Maybe it’s a laminate floor that won’t scratch easily. Maybe it’s an electric fireplace that doesn’t need wood. Low-maintenance homes are perfect for young couples with unconventional jobs or extensive hobbies that keep them busy, and many architects have started to both realize and accommodate this with their no-fuss home designs.
5. Little Luxuries
There’s nothing better than a long soak in a free-standing tub after a busy day at work. Actually, scratch that; padding across a plush carpet in your walk-in closet is also pretty great.
If you’re an active millennial, you probably appreciate life’s little luxuries, so finding a home that provides them is ideal. Even if you find a home you love, but is lacking in extra goodies, there’s often a wide variety of upgrade options to choose from.
6. Open Floor Plans
No one likes being boxed in or forced to compartmentalize. So why buy a home with that kind of rigid division of space? Look for properties with wide, airy layouts that can provide running room for your dogs just as easily as hosting a game night with friends. If you want options, you’ll need space for them.
7. Unique Design Elements
You’ll notice a lot of personality in homes built for the modern buyer, and it can be fun to play around with the property’s distinctive design elements to suit your own interior design flair based off hot new home décor trends. For example, you might accessorize an accent wall or experiment with the lighting around columns, insets and backsplashes. The sky is the limit!
8. Fresh Bulbs
Speaking of lights, many modern homes are doing away with traditional overhead domes and trying something new. If you’re addicted to cool lighting options on Pinterest, look for homes that feature them or can be remodelled to feature them. Skylights, chandeliers, sconces, vanity lights and accent lights can really add the atmosphere you want to a room.
While remote ranches do have their charms, you probably want to be close to the action. The good news is that many homes are being built with an eye towards accessibility to bars, banks, malls and grocery stores. If you can’t walk to them, you should at least be able to catch a bus or major roadway in their direction. Determine what your essential community features are to help you pick a perfect location.
10. Large Backyards
Whether you’re belly-flopping into the pool with your friends or just grilling burgers on the patio for your neighbours, you’ll need a large backyard to transform into a social space. Look for a yard that offers good square footage and extra amenities like pools, fences, decks, gardens, fire pits and hot tubs.
11. Storage Room
From kitchen cupboards to hallway closets, new homes are built to provideplenty of space for storage. Some are even incorporating things like bike rooms to suit those with active lifestyles. While these features might not be necessities, the bottom line is you have customization options that allow you to build your home according to your lifestyle.
12. Entertainment Centres
It’s common for modern homes to come with built-in spaces for home entertainment centres. For example, they might have mounts for 4DTVs already on the wall, or they might have a conversation pit for better surround sound. There might be shelves on the walls for movies, books and games. If you want the ultimate space to host movie nights, look for a built-in entertainment centre.
These are just a few ways that new real estate is being catered to the millennial lifestyle. Whether you’re a young couple looking for a starter home or a new family needing more space to grow, use these guidelines to find the right property for you.
Photo credits: choosing home, eco-friendly home, modern lighting