The millennial generation has certainly faced a unique set of financial challenges in an ever-changing economic climate. But their time to shine is coming, slowly but surely. In fact, millennials made up almost 33% of the home-buying population in 2017. That being said, millennials also have a unique set of values when it comes to housing, and many of those values revolve around sustainability and eco-friendliness. If you’re trying to attract millennial home buyers or tenants, here are just a few sustainable investments that can help you attract more young people.
Reclaimed Wooden Floors
The term ‘reclaimed’ has certainly made its way into the eco-friendly encyclopedia, and many experts agree that millennials are more focused on utility than past generations. With this in mind, consider replacing your old, worn carpeting with reclaimed wooden floors, which also add a unique and rustic ambience to the space as a whole.
“Don’t get caught up with having to have the newest and shiniest. Think about other materials like reclaimed wood which is not only an environmentally sound choice, but sublimely handsome and growing in popularity in all sorts of home renovation projects. Reclaimed wood is a great choice for counter-tops, flooring, and walls…In the end, you will save time, money and energy that would be required to produce a similar and newer product,” writes Jessica on Freshome.
Of course, keeping the sustainability theme in mind, it’s important to acknowledge the air quality hazards that come with many flooring types. Studies have shown that levels of several volatile organic compounds average two to five times higher indoors than outdoors, and when inhaled they can contribute to several health problems. Reclaimed wood doesn’t normally emit VOCs, and with that in mind, it’s best to avoid other flooring materials that may be cause for millennial health concern.
Most landlords are already aware that heating and cooling account for a significant portion of residential energy use. In fact, about 48% of energy use in a typical U.S. home is attributed to heating and cooling, making it the largest energy expense for most homes. If your home or building has a particularly outdated or worn out HVAC system, investing in its lifespan or overall efficiency is a great way to attract millennial buyers and increase its overall value.
Many millennials live a “constantly on the run” type of lifestyle, so if you’re not sure where to start, consider investing in a programmable thermostat that allows tenants to set a schedule when it comes to maintaining the temperature of their homes. Of course, this is just one of the many ways to reduce heating and cooling costs. If you’re building new, insulated concrete form walls can save you 20% to 25% on annual heating and cooling costs as well, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ultimately, any way you can improve your building’s energy efficiency will make it more appealing to millennial buyers.
Finally, solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular eco-friendly investment among all demographics, and millennials are no exception. Solar panels do require more of an initial investment, but they can truly make your property stand out as a long-term sustainable dwelling. Not only will these solar panels help you generate clean, green energy for your building, but they also serve as a fantastic advertisement for your eco-friendly housing. Even better, solar panels have never been more affordable than they are today.
“Adding solar panels may not be the easiest, or least expensive, sustainability upgrade for your home, but it will certainly have the greatest impact on both your energy bills and your environmental footprint… Once operational, a solar system saves about $600 per year over the course of its 25 to 30-year lifespan, and this figure will grow as energy prices rise. Solar installations require little to no maintenance and increase the value of your home,” writes Kyle P. on blueandgreentomorrow.
When all is said and done, everyone has different values and preferences when it comes to finding their dream home. But being proactive and investing in the right improvement projects can help make your property as appealing as possible to a wide range of tenants and demographics.