Different generations look for different features in a home. Some want a house with low maintenance, and others want a home in a community that offers amenities.
For younger buyers, community is an important aspect of where they buy. In their home searches, millennials tend to focus more on walkability, unique retail, and neighborhood involvement than preceding generations. If you want to attract young homebuyers, then it’s important to sell the community as well as the house itself.For younger buyers, community is an important aspect of where they buy. In their home searches, millennials tend to focus more on walkability, unique retail, and neighborhood involvement than preceding generations.Click To Tweet
What if your listing is in a suburban rather than an urban area, though? How can you make a home in the suburbs attractive to a young person who wants to be at the center of the action?
Stress the Savings
While it depends on the area, buying in the suburbs is often more cost-effective than buying in the city.
Not only are prices lower, but you’ll also get more bang for your buck with square footage and yard. Since many millennials are still paying back costly student debt, this is a selling point to stress with them.
They can still afford the home of their dreams and have the money to pay back what they owe, just not in the heart of the city. Point out additional savings, such as lower property taxes or better insulation in a newer home, which also allows them to reduce their carbon footprint. If you are lucky enough to have a listing in an urban area at a great price, you can really stress that as a selling point.
Seek Shopping and Dining
Take a look at the suburban areas and which ones have a nearby shopping and dining experience.
Millennials also enjoy the ability to walk to nearby attractions, so having a few bars and stores right up the road is attractive to them. However, as a whole, they don’t care for chains, so try to find an area with unique local businesses for them to frequent.
One reason millennials don’t care for chains is the hefty price tag involved in eating at a restaurant and tipping the waiter. They’re also on the hunt for healthier meals or convenient lower-cost food truck and takeout options. Try to keep a mental tab of the local favorites so you can point out hotspots to young homebuyers.
Show How They Can Get Involved
If you’ve ever spent time in an urban center, then you’re aware of how involved neighbors are with one another on a daily basis.
They spend time at the local dog park chatting, they come out on their front porches throughout the day and they meet up at the neighborhood bar and grill. One reason millennials are reluctant to move to the suburbs is that they lose this feeling of community.
However, if you point out how they can remain involved, then you’re more likely to attract them to a listing. Is there a neighborhood association? Perhaps the association throws a block party every year for the entire neighborhood. Are there local organizations nearby they can volunteer with? Look at alternative ways for them to get involved.
Offer Transportation Options
A big element younger generations look for is alternative transportation options.
Either they want to reduce environmental pollution, or they don’t want to pay the high prices of maintaining a vehicle. While there are often a number of options for transportation in the city, such as subway, shared vehicles, bus or even walking to things that are very close, the suburbs may present more of a challenge.
While a house in the suburbs likely requires the owner to have a car, there are some areas where bus lines extend to the suburbs and the stops are within an easy walking distance. You can also suggest options such as working remotely at home part of the week, carpooling and sharing a family car. Riding a bike may be an option as well, especially if the area has bike lanes.
Point Out Places to Walk
Are there areas close to the home that the buyer can easily walk to? Where are the nearby parks, restaurants and other amenities?
One study showed that people aged 18 to 34 prefer to walk by 12 percent more than driving. This is one of the reasons why millennials seek a home with nearby businesses and prefer urban or urban-like settings.
As a Realtor or home seller, take the time to drive through the area and look for nearby features that might attract buyers. Include this information in your description. Perhaps there is a community building two blocks away, a park with a dog run within five minutes and a pub around the corner.
Push Neighborhood Amenities
Take the time to find out what amenities are available or will be available for the homes you’re selling.
Many neighborhoods feature a clubhouse area, community pool or annual events. These are attractive to the younger generation, as it offers built-in entertainment they won’t have to pay extra for.
Point out all the available features so the buyers can make an informed decision about whether or not it is worth it to move outside of an urban center. The advantage of neighborhood amenities is that the buyer gains access to, say, a swimming pool without personally having to maintain it.
A Sense of Community
At the end of the day, young homebuyers want what every other homebuyer wants — a place to call home and build memories now and in the future. Look at the property through the eyes of someone between the ages of 18 and 34 and figure out what features they’d most appreciate. Once you have this understanding, it should be much easier to make that sale.
Holly Welles is a real estate writer with a focus on
millennial experiences in renting and homeownership.
You can read her latest tips on her blog, The Estate Update,
and follow her on Twitter @HollyAWelles.