The Next Generation: Personalized features and upgraded technology are must-haves for a new group of homebuyers

2013-04-27T00:00:00Z The Next Generation: Personalized features and upgraded technology are must-haves for a new group of homebuyersCTW Features nwitimes.com
April 27, 2013 12:00 am  • 

A generation that has grown used to the conveniences of touch-screen devices expects the same from their homes, a new survey shows. The survey, conducted on behalf of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, reveals that the next generation of homebuyers prefers customized smart homes to the traditional luxury or prototype homes of the past.

Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Parsippany, N.J., says that younger homebuyers are not interested in the “traditional” homes where their parents grew up. “They are not looking into the bells and whistles of the old generation,” she says. They want customized features “like turning up the heat and down using their iPad.”

The survey shows 43 percent of participants prefer customized homes than a cookie-cutter home, while 50 percent believe that technology is more important than curb appeal.

If a home is not updated with the latest tech, that group would not be interested in it. “Technology is an absolute necessity along with energy efficiency, security system and smart thermostat,” Chris says.

Apart from technology-forward appliances and home automation, a third of the participants from the survey preferred “fixer-upper” homes, and they would prefer to remodel homes themselves rather than seeking help.

Younger homebuyers believe they’re handier than their parents. “If you look across the country, there are thousands of distressed properties and abandoned lands that need residents [to fix them], and this generation is happy to do it,” Chris says.

They also would prefer functional features rather than status symbols like fine china, she says.

Newer model homes have replaced old homes and are retrofitted to meet new consumer needs. For instance, dining rooms now feature tables that can be converted into pool tables, and formal rooms that convert into office spaces.

The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research using a nationally representative group of 1,000 adults 18 to 35 years old.

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