Millennials want smarter homes over starter homes

by Julia Berger

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Millennials are interested in smart homes, and are willing to pay more for them. Because these 18- to 35-year-olds represent the first generation born into the digital age, they are thought of with negative connotations like laziness and vanity. However, as real estate becomes more and more involved with technology, it’s the millennials who are keeping up with market trends.

A recent survey showed that 86 percent of millennials would be willing to pay up to 20 percent more for a home with upgraded technology. This is comparable with the 65 percent of baby-boomers who would also pay more for technology in the home and shows that while millennials are prioritizing technology, it is still an overall market trend.

Today, one in four millennial homeowners already have at least one smart home device. In 2016, over 80 million smart home devices were purchased (across generations) which is up a staggering 64 percent from 2015. Some examples of the in-home technology that millennials covet include electronic home access, keyless locks, interconnected doorbells and security systems that you can control with a smartphone app, and voice-activated assistants.

Other new technology trends on the rise in the real estate market include temperature control, water control and updated security. These are not simply because they the coolest or newest innovation on the market, but because they are effective at both cost and resource conservation.

Smart thermostats, which are programed to automatically turn off when people leave the house (no more wondering if you forgot to turn off the air-conditioning before you leave for the day), but they also address a serious concern among the majority of millennials: Energy conservation. Popular smart thermostat brands like ecobee and Nest claim to save people between 12 and 23 percent on utility costs.

Smart grass and plant watering systems allow people peace of mind as well as resource and cost conservation by not running on days when it has rained and can be set with apps as needed instead of a following fixed schedule where it could be over- or under-watered. Smart locks and smart doors take away owners’ fear of forgetting keys, being locked out, having a lock picked, etc. Owners can also control locks and garages from their desired smart devices.