More Buyers in The Market Means Certain Home Upgrades Can Pay Off

Don’t think of Millennials as just the early adopters of Uber. Think of them as the next generation of home buyers.

The newly released U.S. home ownership rate rose last year for the first time in just over a dozen years (it’s at 64.2 percent). This is driven mainly by the desire to own versus rent by the under-35 crowd who, to date, have been hesitant to commit for both financial and personal reasons.

“This is happening because young households are buying homes. Full stop,” Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at home listings provider Trulia told the Wall Street Journal. Which means, if you’re looking to sell your home, you may want to check out this generational roadmap of four upgrades that experts say are worth the cost to attract buyers.

• Cross-generational: a new steel door. “Curb-appeal projects, by and large, generated higher returns on investment than work done inside the home,” according to Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report. Plus, as far as Millennials go, while their ideal interiors may differ from older generations, they prefer open floor plans and hardwood floors. Architectural Digest says they’re still into “traditional exteriors.”

• Millennials: smart-home tech. Yes, there are Boomers and Gen Xers who are tech- savvy, but Millennials especially crave homes that allow them to control their heating, air-conditioning, home security, and lighting from their phones.

“They want to use their brains for other things, not for remembering whether they adjusted the heat or closed the garage door,” stresses Angie’s List.

• Cross-generational: a new roof. It’s the ultimate in curb appeal and a perennial Remodeling magazine A-lister, with observing that “buyers pay a premium for one already in place.”

So if the first thing prospects notice looks like something out of “Twister,” you’ve got a problem.

“It’s a huge turn-off,” says Patsy O’Neill, a sales associate with Sotheby’s in Montclair, New Jersey, “and makes buyers of all ages predisposed to finding even more things they don’t like.”

If your roof does need replacing, you may want to consider the affordable Sienna® line of diamond-shaped shingles from GAF (, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer. They’re especially adept at capturing Millennials’ sensibilities.

“They pick up on key Millennial-style trends of natural, clean materials, clean lines, and the integration of artistic elements,” says Leslie Franklin, executive director of residential marketing at GAF.

• Millennials: all new appliances. Realtors will tell you that kitchen (and bath) upgrades aren’t generally worth their high costs in terms of return on investment, since prospective buyers’ tastes can clash with yours.

However, Millennials do love all-new, stainless-steel appliances. So much so that what calls “an astonishing majority of 75 percent” of respondents in a recent survey chose to spend their hypothetical home-buying budgets on them.

Posted: April 6, 2019