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Millennials Ready To Fix Up Homes, Study Demonstrates

Thursday February 6th, 2014 - 12:10PM

When looking for a next house, Millennials are willing to purchase a fixer upper according to findings from the Better Homes and Gardens sixth-annual exclusive survey on the attitude and spending trends of home buyers. The research this year focused on Millennials’ preferences as regards their next abode as well as home improvement spending, the importance of personalization and the role of technology.

As has been the case through history, the Millennial generation overwhelmingly believes that owning a home is part of the American Dream, with 79% reaffirming that idea. Most Millennials, at 77%, also say a home remains a good investment. However, it isn’t always an easy one to pursue, as 35% of Millennials surveyed said that a lack of down payment is the greatest obstacle to home ownership.

Better Homes and Gardens noted that Millennials are least likely among generational groups to expect their next home to be newly built, at 18%, and most likely to say their next home will be one they can fix up, at 23%.

Among Millennials planning to initiate a home improvement project over the next 12 months, nearly 35% highly agree that “now is the right time to spend” on home improvements.

In fact, 45% of Millennials said they are in the process of planning or doing a major home improvement or decorating project, the study indicated. Of those conducting home upgrades, 75% reported decorating with furniture and accessories.

Although fewer consumers recently have invested in dedicated home office furniture, domestic work spaces continue to gain importance. In the survey, 26% of Millennials said they are building or planning to build a home office, work space or family computing center. Still, 41% said a combined office-hobby-crafts-art room is ideal.

When considering future projects, 35% of Millennials reported wanting to work on outdoor living or entertaining areas, according to Better Homes and Gardens, with 42% expressing a desire to add exterior upgrades like a deck, porch or patio.  In green considerations, taking in dual aspects of the word, 52% of Millennials report they will add/replace plantings, shrubs and trees, and 40% said they want to make their homes more energy efficient.

Personalization has become a trend in the market, and 34% of Millennials participating in the study said they plan to change the function of a room, such as a nursery, office or craft/hobby space. In personalizing domestic spaces, consumers may add chalkboards, under-stair storage, and bins and buckets to maximize shelving. More style-oriented personalization trends that have lately emerged include the addition of industrial and vintage elements in the bathroom, sliding barn doors and considering children when making home décor choices.

In shopping, about six in 10 Millennial respondents report using a smartphone or tablet to access home-related information, with decorating ideas or shopping part of the home buying/renovation process.

When asked, “In which of the following ways do you use your smartphone or tablet to access home-related information?” Millennials responded: 

According to a recent report from the Boston Consulting Group, Millennials living in the United States account for an estimated $1.3 trillion in direct annual spending. Better Homes and Gardens added that over the next 15 years, Millennials will come to outnumber Baby Boomers 78 million to 56 million.