What Buyers are Looking For in a Starter Home

starter home

What Are Buyers Looking For in a Starter Home?

Building Homes For First-Time Buyers

What are some of the must-haves in starter home design, and who are the people buying these homes?

Even if you’ve been building or in the real estate industry for years, you might be surprised to learn what first-time buyers are now looking for in their starter home. These young buyers have different preferences than previous generations, and you may have to adjust your building style to capture their attention.

First-Time Buyers Are Looking For More Than You Might Think

The concept of a starter home appears to be changing, especially among millennial buyers.

These buyers are currently aged 18 – 34 and they have far different perceptions of homeownership than older generations.

According to a study from Bank of America, 75% of first-time buyers (many within that millennial demographic) would rather bypass the idea of a traditional starter home. They’d prefer to buy a home that will meet their future needs, even if saving up delays the buying process.

For realtors and builders, this could mean reinventing their concept of what constitutes starter home.

What Features Are Most Important In A Starter Home?

The Bank of America study discovered that today’s buyers are most concerned with four primary factors in a starter home:

  • Cost (82%)
  • Neighborhood (71%)
  • Floor plan (60%)
  • Square footage (47%)

How Much Space Does A Starter Home Need?

Since many modern first-time buyers want to remain in their starter homes for years to come, the floor plan and square footage are extremely important. You have ultimate control over these two features, so aim to create spacious floor plans with plenty of square footage for your starter home buyers.

75% of the respondents that Bank of America surveyed would prefer a single family home, only 11% said they would prefer to buy a town home and a mere 6% would like to buy a condo.

Where Should Builders Build Starter Homes?

Perhaps surprisingly, 52% of Bank of America’s survey respondents want to live in the suburbs. Urban properties come up next on the preference list, with 26% of would-be buyers preferring that location. Finally, 22% want to live in a rural area.

What can builders learn from this?

Don’t forget about the suburbs when scouting out the location for your next build. It’s the most popular location, but you could also have success in urban and rural areas.

Other Features Buyers Want In A Starter Home

Aside from a home’s square footage and floor plan, first-time buyers are looking for other specific features in a starter home:

When you’re planning the designs and features of your next set of starter homes, including these specific features could be a very good business move.

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