De Moraes column: Prepping a home for millennial buyers
“Old” millennials, born closer to 1980 than to 2000, are getting in position to buy their first homes.
As technology changes and the millennials are aging and becoming more financially capable, so has the way we as Realtors have adjusted our marketing techniques. Not long ago, this group was a bit slow to enter the housing market. After all, they were affected by high unemployment, tighter lending requirements, student loan debt, too many Starbucks locations and the latest iPhones, iPads and iThingamagiggies. Now it’s time for the iBuyahome.
Millennials represent about 37 percent of first-time homebuyers today. That means it’s probably time you start thinking about ways to make your home a bit more attractive to them, too, so they will iBuy.
Walk through Lowe’s today and you will see how easy it is to make your home smarter than you. Take a look at the programmable thermostats that can see when you walk into a room and adjust the temperature to a level it knows you like. Buy a camera and you can even see what your dog really does while you’re gone, right from the comfort of your own desk at work. You can see if your garage door is open from afar or if there is a water leak in your home. You can even turn the lights on and off so people have no clue that you’re really on vacation having more fun than them.
While I’m not saying you should do all of this, there sure are some neat things that will make a buyer say “cool!” when looking at your house.
While these are all cool little tweaks to make your home a little smarter, the older generations may find it a bit cumbersome, but we are not talking about them right now, are we? We are talking about the millennials, and while they are tech savvy, they can also be fairly frugal.
With that said, they also love the DIY home.
Yes, they are starting to enter the housing market at a record pace; however, some can’t afford to make such a huge purchase. That means it may be better to forgo some of the upgrades on which you risk ultimately losing money. You want to keep your home at a more attractive price point. Let the buyers do the upgrades themselves — that’s what they really want to do anyway. Trust me, they love to repurpose things, and they know how to get better deals than us. Why do you think so many of them are still living at home waiting to enter the market?
Because they got a better deal than us. And don’t forget, when in doubt, go green. They love that stuff, too.
Sean de Moraes’ real estate column appears on the first Friday of each month. He is an agent with Roaring Fork Sotheby’s.
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