It's not clear who coined the term "renovation generation", but we know this, millennials are far more likely to stay in their homes and expand them, or buy fixer-uppers, than any other generation.
Millennials are by far the most idealistic, connected and design-centric cohort of homeowners today. Fueled by boundless sources of inspiration, from Instagram and Houzz to HGTV, young couples are converting and increasing the size of their starter homes, rather than moving out and buying bigger ones. At the source of this is a strong cultural trend towards growing roots and living locally among this cohort. More than any generation before them, millennials have a strong sense of place. They desire a connection to their communities, as well as proximity to friends, work and entertainment. And most importantly, they are happy to invest in customizing and personalizing their homes.
The data is there to prove it. According to a SFW Householder study called The Omni Sense of Place, the main indicators of importance in sense of place vary significantly among generations, and some factors are three times more important to Millennials than they have been to Baby Boomers or Gen X.
Value living close to work:
Generation X: 37%
Baby Boomers: 19%
Value living close to entertainment:
Generation X: 17%
Baby Boomers: 11%
Millennials are a generation that seeks proximity, connectedness and local activities. They reject long commutes and invest in their homes in order to adapt them to their changing needs. They desire meaningful relationships with their surroundings and expect to meet these needs by staying local and investing in home remodeling and interior design. According to another study by Florida State University, "the millennial generation as a whole, connect their personal and social identity to their physical surroundings, therefore, these young adults desire to establish a personal identity through 'sense of place' in their home and a social identity through 'sense of community' in their living environment."
This generation loves their neighborhoods and loves their homes, and they will continue investing and fine-tuning their homes to suit their needs and evolving lifestyle. What are some of the biggest investments they will make in their homes?
Open Concept Renovations: the open floor plan still rules supreme. One of the most popular renovation categories is connecting and expanding the kitchen into a living, cooking and dining space to entertain and bring a young family together. With each family member now on an individual screen, opportunities for togetherness are more important than ever.
Bathrooms: from kid-friendly bright spaces to intriguing powder rooms and elegant master suites, bathroom remodels offer endless possibilities in terms of creativity, while also being a sound investment in a vital part of a home. They are spaces that leave room for fun and experimentation with tile, wallpaper textures, metal finishes on plumbing fixture and much more. Plus, the photos are very instagrammable!
Windows: new windows can make a very big difference to a home, both in terms of energy efficiency and aesthetics. They also add important safety features for families with small children. Window replacements are among the most popular home remodeling investments because they offer so many benefits.
Solar: in sunnier climates, solar panels and solar roofs are at crucial. Tax rebates help solar investments make financial sense, but one of the biggest motivations to invest in PV is the desire to be responsible consumers and achieve energy efficiency. With this trend in mind, it is no surprise that Elon Musk is directing Tesla's energies into solar roofs on a massive scale.
As the needs of the millennial family continue to evolve, so will their homes and their remodeling investments. This generation of homeowners will continue to seek a balance between open spaces, private areas, fun design and energy efficiency. After all, a good house is never done!
To read more about the Renovation Generation, check out our other blog posts...