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

Services for Real Estate Pros with Bea Fields Companies, Inc.

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. 


Re-Blogged 18 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Susan Laxson CRS 07/07/2010 06:00 AM
  2. Shanna Hall 07/07/2010 01:00 PM
  3. Donna Bosze 07/08/2010 03:22 AM
  4. Ken's Home Team LLC. | 360.609.0226 | Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA Real Estate Team 07/08/2010 03:26 AM
  5. Lennar Chicago 07/08/2010 03:29 AM
  6. Julie Chrissis 07/08/2010 04:49 AM
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  11. Chris and Maria Jeantet 07/08/2010 08:36 AM
  12. Erica Ramus 07/08/2010 12:11 PM
  13. Jim Frimmer 07/08/2010 09:44 PM
  14. Kathleen Cooper 07/11/2010 10:05 AM
  15. Linda Graves Arnold 07/16/2010 04:38 AM
  16. Lyn Sims 07/18/2010 07:06 AM
  17. Daniel H. Fisher 07/25/2011 02:42 AM
  18. Jose Siojo Santos 09/06/2011 05:16 AM
Home Buying
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generation y home buying choices
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Brent & Deb Wells
LivingWell Properties - Prosper, TX
Prosper TX

I like your list and its definite food for thought.

Jul 08, 2010 09:57 AM #35
Vince McEveety
Gilleran Griffin Realty - Sherman Oaks, CA

nice checklist... very helpful

Jul 08, 2010 10:04 AM #36
Jennifer Archambeault
Cardani Group, REALTORS® - Austin Texas - Austin, TX
An Austin Texas Realtor

As a Gen Y'er - I 100% agree!

Jul 08, 2010 10:26 AM #37
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

That's a great list.  All true from what I have seen.  The only difference - and this may be a NY thing - is that they don't seem that interested in large yard.  The density in NY often precludes having your cake and eating it.  A large yard is inconsistent with a walkable neighborhood. SO that may be a tradeoff that they know they must make.

Jul 08, 2010 10:45 AM #38
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

This is an interesting list, to say the least. I wonder if it applies to certain types of GenY demographics or if it is a broad cross-section...

Jul 08, 2010 10:45 AM #39
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Wow this pretty much agrees with ABR's new Generational Buyers course !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jul 08, 2010 11:25 AM #40
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Bea, what a terrific post!  I think most of the items on this list appeal across generational lines. 

Jul 08, 2010 01:57 PM #42
Toronto, ON

Bea - A great list of items that Gen Y often considers important.

Jul 08, 2010 05:05 PM #43
Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

Great list of things for any generation. Thanks for sharing.

Jul 08, 2010 10:07 PM #44
Tripp Montgomery
Montgomery and Moore - Camden, SC
Above and Beyond

Great Post!  I am finding the same desires in my market, BUT NO ONE IS BUILDING IT. Developers are scared that it is just lip service and won't build "outside the box", literally. 

Jul 08, 2010 11:35 PM #45
Pam Turner, REALTOR®, e-PRO®, SFR
Century 21 Belk Realtors Dalton GA - Dalton, GA

Sounds like Gen Y's want it all! That's a pretty comprehensive list -- hope our home builders and developers are reading!!!

Jul 09, 2010 12:41 AM #46
Sam White
College Station, TX
Integrated Marketing - Bryan College Station,

One essential element of my business is understanding my clients and gearing service to them. Understanding the generational aspects of Americans is very important to that.

Jul 09, 2010 12:44 AM #47
Charles Edwards Bentonville
Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney & Faucette 479-253-3796 - Bentonville, AR
AR REALTOR, Bentonville Real Estate Agent and Broker

Excellent informative post.

Jul 09, 2010 02:36 AM #48
Ken Speer
Alpha Global Associates - Phoenix, AZ

Great list of ideas the Gen Y-ers are looking for.  Good idea for us 'Boomers' if we want to maintain our business with the next generations of buyers.

Jul 09, 2010 04:37 AM #49
Liz Flint
Century 21 Hardee-Team Realty - Houston, TX
Houston\Tomball Realtor (832)816-8066

Hi Bea, thanks for the wonderful list of wants and needs for Generation Y's.

Jul 09, 2010 05:27 AM #50
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

In British Columbia our 65+ population account for 14.8% according to Statistics Canada.  In Vancouver that drops to 12.9%.  Here in Port Moody a suburb of Vancouver it is only 7.8%.

We also know that almost 60% of our housing stock is multi-family condominuim apartments. When we look closer at that the large majority is 2 bedroom.

Furthermore, I'm able to discern that the profile for the under 65 age group is younger couples just starting out, most of them first-time homebuyers. This demographic is largely Gen Y, with less Gen X and even less Boomers making up the balance.

I'm paying attention to understand this niche, so thanks for this post Bea. 

BTW, I was directed here with thanks by Ken Rosengren's RE-BLOG, and I'll be back!

Jul 10, 2010 10:18 AM #51
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

This is a great list!  Just walked into a house with a 'parlor' converted into a technology room, exactly as you said.  It was very well done and appealing.

Jul 11, 2010 10:50 AM #52
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Great list.  Sent you an email that this was featured in a blog that did a short byte on ActiveRain.  Congrats on that.

Jul 18, 2010 07:05 AM #53
Melissa Brown
Helen Adams Realty - Charlotte, NC
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

Bea, congratulations on your feature, and what a great list!  As a boomer myself, I'm finding that I am starting to think like gen Yers do!  My living room?  No one ever uses it!  My dining room - only 2 times/year (except that all my business flotsam and jetsam ends up there)!


Jul 19, 2010 03:43 AM #54
Jake Luehrs
Keller Williams Integrity - Team Leader - Minneapolis, MN

Thanks for the pointers Bea!  I've also noticed some of these demographic changes as well.  While taking all these tips into account, there is an untapped market with this generation.  They rely on referrals from family and friends.  They'll be checking us out online before they even talk to us.  Not only should we take into account your post, but also make sure that we are visible to them online so they can do a 'preliminary' interview before they talk to us.  Another thing to note to approach this segment is its vast size.  This generation is bigger than the baby boomer generation.  Something to keep in mind moving forward!  Thanks for the thought provoking post!


Jul 19, 2010 05:16 AM #55
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