So who’s leading the pack now in purchasing their first home? It’s Generation Y. Born to baby boomers, this generation is about 75 million people born between 1982 and 1995. A lot are graduating college and looking for their first place. Many are getting married and buying their first home with their spouse. Either way, they’re the next generation sellers are going to want to appeal to.
First of all, you need to know that so many of these people are using technology to find their home. They’re not the ones who are going to take out the Sunday paper and search for Open Houses. They’ll be on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and dozens of other online sites doing their searches. They can even use Zillow from their mobile phones or use their phones to take pictures of a building they might be interested in to send to their Realtor. They grew up using technology and there’s no reason to change that now. So if you are selling your home, make sure your agent shows you the Internet marketing he’s capable of. Your home should appear on Web sites and social networking sites to appeal to these buyers.
And don’t just assume because they’re young they automatically look in the urban areas. While that’s true for some, many want to have a close commute to work in the suburbs. In the Chicago area, many suburbs have a “downtown” area modeled like the city itself. Suburbs such as Palatine, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Highland Park, and Grayslake are a few examples.
A lot of the Generation Yers go for low-maintenance living, like a condo or a townhome, where they don’t have to worry about shoveling snow or mowing the lawn. However, some would like a single family home with a garage to park their cars and space to start a family. They’re looking for newer materials in homes, nothing dated. Forget the Formica counters – they want Corian and granite. Helen Velas, a Naperville interior designer also adds, “They want the most bang for their buck because they can afford only a small space. They like flex floor plans. Maybe a home office can double as a dining room, exercise room or guest room. Gen Y is not into museum rooms that are never used, like living rooms.”
Of course, I’m not telling you that you should model your home to sell to someone in this generation. These are just a few tips to keep in mind based on your location. If you’re selling a condo in a downtown area and you have a formal living room, maybe you would want to stage it to act as a fitness room or office. Think outside the box.