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How Millennials are influencing custom home building

In the custom home building industry, it’s important to be at the leading edge of innovation and design trends. Quite simply, to meet the demands of constantly evolving lifestyles.

The newest home buyers on the horizon are Millennials. Since they don’t have the same lifestyle of their Baby Boomer parents, they have different home design tastes and preferences.

Many Millennials are focused on functional design. Think low maintenance, energy-efficiency, environment-friendly materials and beyond.

The good news is, Millennials plan to own a home within the next five years

Millennials are having a surprising effect on custom home building and in 2018 alone Millennials made up half of Canada’s first-time home buyers.

In fact, the cross-Canada survey conducted by Leger found that 87 per cent of Canadians aged 25 to 30 believe homeownership is a good investment. More so, 69 per cent hope to own a home in the next five years.

This home buying generation has unique requests.

Millennials care more about function than square footage

Convenience and connectedness are the new square footage to the Millennial generation. From technology to neighborhoods, wellness amenities and social networks, Millennials want to build their home where they can feel connected and part of a community. To this generation, a new home represents an opportunity to connect and socialize with friends and family.

Many Millennials opt for urban city dwellings over the sprawling suburbs for their first home. As the saying goes, Millennials want to “be where the action is”. At this stage, they don’t want “too much house” since it requires more upkeep than they want to do.

Less house to maintain means more time for the social scene.

Some Millennials also perceive smaller homes to be less demanding on the environment. Further, Millennials want design elements and home construction materials that have been ethically sourced and are eventually biodegradable, recyclable, or good for the environment.

Smart homes infused with technology

Having a SMART home is also important to this high-tech generation. Jill Waage, an editorial director at Better Homes and Gardens, said during a presentation at the 2015 International Builders’ Show, “Our research shows that women 35 and under see value in owning a home and their attitudes toward making space livable through smart technology and integrated design are significantly stronger than those of their older cohorts. The next generation of homeowners will lead the way in adopting new technology — making features like the ability to preheat an oven or unlock the front door from a smartphone the new norm in home convenience.” 

More and more homes being equipped to support SMART home technology. It’s a no-brainer that this technology needs to be supported starting with the new home construction process. From properly wiring the electrical throughout the house and insuring WiFi connectivity is strong and consistent from room to room.

Multifunctional spaces to maximize on space

Millennials care about minimalism and maximizing space for functionality with clever design.

Top of the list for design strategies includes capturing and creating opportunities for sunlight from various areas in the home.

As well, fluid and open floor plans, lots of windows, half-wall dividers and translucent or clear glass-paneled doors that allow light to travel more deeply into the interior of a home are desired.

Light naturally expands smaller spaces which makes this a great design strategy to make the space look larger than it actually is.

Flexible space is key

Aside from adding light to a room, multifunctional spaces that are flexible in their use are key.

Incorporating movable elements such as doors on tracks rather than swinging open, and cabinetry or storage on wheels are all ways to be more space-efficient.

With Millennials choosing smaller spaces, they’re able to indulge in high-quality finishes and interesting features in their home. For example, even with less square footage, they’ll opt for a eucalyptus-infused steam shower with rainforest shower heads.

In this article by New Home Source, it’s surprising to learn what the most desired features are that Millennials want in a home.

Turns out, features related to energy efficiency topped their list of interests. A separate laundry room was also on the most-wanted list, with 55 per cent saying they wouldn’t buy a new home without one. Believe it or not, exterior lighting came in second, with 88 per cent saying it was essential or desirable. Storage also made the top 10 list, with linen closets, a walk-in pantry and garage storage also being important.

The least likely features Millennials claimed to care about? Outdoor kitchens with plumbing and appliances and two-story foyers and living rooms. However, entertaining outdoors is important to Millennials and living room like settings are key. But anything beyond having a barbecue for grilling hasn’t really been deemed as necessary.

Regardless, your custom home or renovation should represent your personal style. And reflect who you are and what you want the space to embody. Millennials are proving to have unique tastes which makes for an exciting future in home building and design.