HOW DO HOUSING PREFERENCES DIFFER BETWEEN DIFFERENT GENERATIONS?
Your music and taste in clothing isn’t the only thing affected by your age. It’s likely your housing preferences are also a result of the generation you belong to. Are you a senior (born in 1945 or earlier), baby boomer (born between 1946 and 1964), Gen Xer (born between 1965 and 1979), or a millennial (born in 1980 or later)?
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) conducted a study in 2015 to determine if and how preferences in housing differ amongst the generations. Do your preferences match up with these findings?
Size of the Home
It doesn’t matter your generation on this one. According to the NAHB study, most people across the generation board are looking for a new home that is a different size than what they currently have. Not surprisingly, Gen Xers and millennials want a bigger home than they currently have with the ideal square footage sitting above 2,300 square feet. Baby boomers and seniors, however, want to downgrade to a home that is less than 1,900 square feet.
Single Level or More?
If you’re a senior or baby boomer, you probably only want a single level for your new home. The NAHB study found that 88 percent of seniors and 75 percent of baby boomers were looking for a single-level home. However, less than half of Gen Xers and millennials found the number of levels in their home to be important.
Number of Rooms
Growing families need more bedrooms, and this is evident in the amount of rooms each generation prefers. Gen Xers and millennials want homes with four or more rooms, while baby boomers and seniors don’t want more than three.
Backyards and Front Yards
Extending your living space to the outdoors is a concept fully embraced by the younger generations. Millennials ranked three outdoor spaces in their top 10 list (the only group to do so): a deck, a patio, and a front porch.
WHERE THE GENERATIONS AGREE
Every generation is primarily looking for a single-family detached home, but the similarities in preference don’t end there.
Everyone is moving to the suburbs. Every generation ranked the suburbs high on their preference list, while rural came in second place. City centers, even among millennials, are the least preferred location.
Lighting and Storage
Every generation ranked exterior lighting in their top 10 list. Walk-in pantries and garage storage were also ranked high on the lists of preferences for each generation.
We all want to make the chore of laundry easier on ourselves. Each generation ranked a functional laundry room in their Top 10 list. Not only that, but each generation wants the laundry room on the first floor. The younger generations, both the Gen Xers and millennials, actually ranked this as their most wanted feature.
Every generation ranked Energy Star appliances and windows high on their list of preferences. However, having these appliances and windows out of concern for the environment isn’t the motivation. Instead, each generation wants these features mainly for their costs savings. Helping the environment is a happy consequence.
New home builders are of course very aware of these housing preferences, and you will find numerous new home communities across the country being built with these preferences in mind. Customize your new home just the way you want when you build new.