What Generation Y Wants

I found this list on Active Rain as a blog post by Bea Fields, author of Millennial Leaders. I thought it was very interesting, especially after reading Swanepoel’s 2010 Trends book.  I’m sharing it with you and I sure would love to generate some community discussion on this list.  Because if this is what Gen. Y wants then where are the neighborhood designs that incorporate all the walkability needed?

Here is the list:

The Top 17 Features Generation Y Looks For When Buying A Home

I want to start this post by saying that, as with all demographics, not all Generation Y home buyers are going to want the following list in a home.  But, the trends with this age group seems to be leaning in the  direction  for certain amenities and features when buying or renting a home.

I also will just add that as Generation Y begins to marry and have children, a few of these desires may change, but we still have 5-10 years to get to that point.  Generation Y is marrying later in life, so for now, this list will be helpful when selling a home.  If any of these are evident in the property you are selling, make sure to point them out.

So, here we go:

1. Efficiency in space.

2. Utility:  Gen Ys want to know that each room has a useful purpose.  If you are selling a house that has a “parlor”, show it as an office or a technology room.

3. Simplicity in design:  Gen Ys have been overloaded with junk and informaton…so keep it simple.

4. Multi-pupose rooms.  Gen Ys don’t really care that much about a formal living room or dining room.  They are much more interested in open spaces, multi-purpose rooms and large kitchens (even though they eat out a great deal).  I recently visited a friend that had creatively designed 700 square feet so that it was open and felt much bigger than actual.  A murphy bed was used and could then double as a bar for entertaining.

5. Housing that is within walking distance of grocery stores, shopping, dining, night life and gyms.  The ability to “stroll” is critical to this generation.  Gen Ys want to be able to park their cars and walk from location to location.

6. Energy efficiency (point out any appliances that are energy efficient or any areas or structures which are LEEDS certified).

7. Easy access to neighbors their own age and to a diversity of people from all walks of life and all ages.  They want to be surrounded with their own peers, but Gen Ys also want a thriving, buzzing network of interesting people.  Gen Ys crave diversity, so the more interesting the people in the neighborhood, the better your chances will be of selling.

8. “Bite-Sized Spaces”.  Gen Ys think in bites…not huge, sprawling spaces.  Don’t assume they want a great deal of “space”.  Many Gen Ys say that they can be happy in a smaller home or condo that is efficient, has some space in the back for entertaining and that is accessible to the lifestyle they want to live.

9. Access to hiking, biking and running trails.

10. Yard space for outdoor activities and outdoor entertaining.

11. Neighborhoods which are “dog and cat friendly”.  Gen Ys are big on animals, so make sure to ask if they own a pet.  Many will bring their pet with them to see the home.

12. Technology that is advanced and current.  If you are selling property in an area with free wireless, make sure to drive that point home.

13. Wide but not deep…Gen Y’s don’t care much about depth in a house…they want width and a bigger back yard or outdoor dining space.  Again…just ditch the cut up rooms with formal living and dining rooms in the front of the home that only have one purpose.  Look to sell homes that are close to being one big open room and one additional office space (and of course a nice bedroom).

14. Low maintenance (Gen Y’s travel a great deal, so they don’t want a great deal of upkeep).

15. Modular homes are pretty popular as well as duplex living to keep the cost lower.

16. Any homes which have recycled materials (recycled countertops, cabinets, doors, etc).

17. Homes which may have an area with its own private entrance for guests or for the purpose of subletting.

What this list seems to imply is a return to a more neighborly world. Small market centers nestled in neighborhoods that can be walked to and people can hang out and visit with others.  What I see in my Houston suburb market is lots and lots of privacy fences, very little within walking distance to homes, no bike lanes, no sidewalks in many places, and every new home is overly large with formals. Yes the floorplans are very open, but is the maintenance of 3,000+ sf what people really still want? I’d like to hear from you all on this list. I know what I see in the market place as a REALTOR, but I’d like to hear from the consumers.


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