Millennials have long perplexed real estate agents and lenders for their perceived lack of interest in home buying. It’s true that Millennials haven’t jumped on the homeowner bandwagon to the same extent as their parents and grandparents, and the reasons are complex.
Social and economic factors are both to blame—keep in mind that many Millennials came of age 1) amid the economic downturn and 2) already saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.
Things could be changing in 2019, though, with some saying it might finally be “the year of the Millennial homebuyer.” Despite rising interest rates, housing prices are expected to stabilize. This will mean more affordable options for first-time homebuyers.
Millennials are the first generation of homebuyers to have had early exposure to social media and access to an endless stream of DIY videos on YouTube and renovation shows on TV. It’s why they tend to be savvier about the amount of work and costs involved in renovations and repairs. Millennial homebuyers know how to spot red flags and diamonds in the rough.
What Millennials Want in a Home
Millennials are decidedly more particular than their Boomer parents, according to a survey by Homes.com. Boomers described their dream home as a modest 1,500- to 2,000-square-foot abode that includes simple amenities like plenty of windows and storage space, walk-in closets, and a fireplace.
Millennials had a more imaginative vision for their dream digs. They wanted a much larger home—4,000 to 5,000 square feet with features like an in-home library, movie theater, man cave/she shed, wine cellar, and kid’s playroom.
Grand vision aside, let’s look at some of the hottest trends popular with this generation.
The architectural styles most popular with Millennials today are:
- Pre-WWII: Arts & Crafts, Tudors, Victorians, Colonials, Mission-Style—in short, architecture with charm and history.
- Mediterranean: Homes inspired by Italian or Spanish architecture and detailing are also popular. They typically feature stucco exteriors, tile roofs, wrought iron accents, ceramic or Travertine flooring, archways and rounded corners, and dramatic staircases. The 90s and early 2000s saw a major revival of this style.
- Mid-Century: Homes built between 1945 and 1965 are also popular with Millennials and are recognizable by their flat or shallow-pitched roofs, sleek, angular shapes, open floor plans, and simple details.
Kitchen and Bathroom Designs
Having grown up with abominations like avocado-colored appliances, Formica counters, and gold-trim lighting, it’s safe to say these things are on most Millennials’ “don’t want” list.
In general, there seems to be two Millennial camps: purists who want to preserve an older home’s original interior features and details (like an antique Wedgewood stove), and those who want totally updated, modern interiors with clever features like kitchen cabinets with built-in Lazy Susan and interior room dividers to maximize space.
Popular kitchen features include:
- Herringbone floors
- Professional-grade ranges and convection ovens
- Top-of-the-line stainless appliances
- Built-in wine coolers
- Stone, poured cement, or granite counters
- High-quality cabinetry with glass panels and pull-out shelves
- Walk-in pantry
- Apron-front kitchen or hammered copper sinks
- Recessed and pendant lighting.
In the bathroom:
- Lots of glass and stone
- Vessel sinks
- Brushed nickel, satin nickel, or oiled bronze fixtures
- Stone tile showers
- Dual-rain showerheads
- Low-rise toilets and bidets
- Suspended interior glass doors
- Floating cabinetry
Colors, Flooring, and Walls
Nature-inspired earth tones are popular lately. So are dramatic accent walls. Carpeting is becoming obsolete, even in bedrooms. It’s being replaced by bamboo, exotic hardwoods, and realistic-looking wood-inspired laminates. Travertine, marble, and herringbone are also popular.
Walls are usually plaster or completely smooth—no more popcorn ceilings. Designers are using sleek metal and glass room dividers in place of traditional walls to add contemporary flair and divide space in homes with open floor plans. Sliding glass barn doors are also as popular as ever.
The Sliding Door Company: Helping Design Beautiful Homes for the Next Generation of Homebuyers
Millennials will soon dominate the home buying market. Designing the next generation of homes with this discerning group in mind will be essential for staying ahead of the game.
From custom closet doors to glass room dividers, The Sliding Door Company has functional space-saving interior door solutions for every room—it’s why we’re the preferred choice among so many interior designers and builders across the country.
Visit one of our many showrooms located throughout the United States or schedule a consultation today. We look forward to helping you with your project!