What Do People Want When Buying A House?

A realtor visited  my house to pick up something and she paused to look at my gardens (really a yard at this point with bunch of beds, it’s a work in progress!) and remarked – “You know, most people don’t want all this. Too high maintenance.” Well, perhaps. Though trust me, I don’t want to spend all my waking time in the garden either. I am game for deadheading roses which rewards you so richly with new blooms shortly afterward. Fertilizing, mulching, trimming and buying annuals are a given but beyond that, I hope I am done. One of the things that sold our previous house was actually our yard, the buyers loved the swath of rhododendrons I had planted and mix of boxwoods with knockout roses. So who is right?

A 2018 survey conducted on behalf of National Association of Landscape Professionals found that millennials value the outdoor space and green lawns prioritizing it so much that it ranked 2nd after remodeled kitchens. Most millennials have at least one child, entertain outside and relax at home so an inviting garden and outdoor feature such as a patio, fireplace or firepit or terrace were high on the wishlist.

Another theme that stays constant in pretty much every survey is that millennials do not want to buy fixer uppers like generation before. They are not interested in spending weekends working on projects and are looking for low maintenance, smart, energy efficient homes. While that does sound lovely, they don’t want to pay extra for any of these features. I don’t think there’s ever been a generation that says oh boy, let me spend my free time working on the house. Rather you get the house that it’s big enough and hopefully in a good location and then you slowly go about fixing it up adding sweat equity. So perhaps not surprisingly over 60% of the millennials regret their house purchase according to this study by Bankrate.

  • they underestimate maintenance costs
  • buying a home too small in size
  • picking a poor location

One of the projects I undertook in our previous house was white washing the fireplace.

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