Many people shopping for real estate are younger than the previous generations of homebuyers, and they're extremely tech savvy. They grew up with smartphones, apps that allow them to do almost anything and Google searches. And they want to use technology not only in their search for a home but throughout the home itself. A recent survey shows that 77% of Generation X and Generation Y homebuyers want their homes equipped with the technological capabilities they have grown accustomed to. This new generation of homebuyers is rewriting the rules to homeownership and reinterpreting traditional norms to fit their values. As the homebuyer evolves, so does the home. Here are some major shifts in homes you can expect to see today and in the years to come:
Media rooms & Smart homes: the media room emerged in the real estate market a few years back. Many buyers now prefer high-tech rooms with surround sound, large-screen TV's and the most recent A/V equipment. But some homeowners aren't limiting technology to just one room. They're transforming an entire property into a 'smart home' with automation systems. Given how technology is going, its only going to be more important in our lives, transforming a home into a 'smart home' is likely a good investment.
Bigger the closet the better: today, the walk-in closet is a must-have on many buyers' wish list. Some homeowners are pairing down a four-bedroom home to three by transforming one bedroom into an oversized walk-in closet. A large closet will probably never go out of style. If you intend to expand a closet or bedroom into a grand walk-in closet, just be careful not to overly customize it. The more specific you get with your taste, the fewer people your closet will appeal to when you go to sell later.
Home offices: even though a few companies are instituting a ban on working from home, most even encourage it. A home office tops some buyers' wish lists. Depending on the number of bedrooms, some will create a home office with built-in desks, shelving and cabinets. The customized home office with built-ins could deter some buyers, who feel they have lost an extra bedroom or other space. Try to make your home office as appealing to the next buyer as it is to you.
Hardwood floors: if you walk into a home that hasn't been on the market for decades, you will probably see a lot of wall-to-wall carpeting. Now most homebuyers prefer hardwood floors in their homes. Hardwood floors make a space feel less confined and give it a new, clean feeling. No matter how many times the carpet has been cleaned, there's something about stepping on someone else's carpet with your bare feet that turns off today's buyers. If you see a home you love, with wall-to-wall carpeting you don't love, ask the agent what's underneath it. You might be surprised to find a hardwood floor that, with some sanding and polishing, will give the home that updated, lighter look you want.
Urban homes with amenities: homebuyers used to covet a three-quarter acre lot. Today's buyers--both Gen X and Gen Y generations as well as empty-nest retirees--visualize that same lot and think 'maintenance'. Instead, Gen X and Gen Y generations are opting for city living in big cities like Toronto as well as smaller urban cities or towns such as Oakville or Burlington. These buyers seek active lifestyles and opportunities to socialize. They want to be near transit. And they're looking for buildings with amenities.
Think long-term: trends in kitchen countertops, paint colours and bath fixtures come and go. They're based on larger design or style trends and even fashion trends. As our society and culture changes, the larger fixtures and features of our homes change more gradually. They don't mirror the latest trends so much as they reflect shifts in how we live. As a result, investing in long-term home shifts will usually be a better idea than paying extra money for the latest home fad.
CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd.
Brokerage Independently Owned and Operated
#4 Office in Canada
By Production CENTURY 21 Canada 2013
467 Speers Road,
Oakville, ON L6K 3S4