Whether or not a house has these amenities can make or break their decision to buy.

By Maggie Seaver
October 29, 2019
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What matters most to homebuyers on the market for a starter home? It varies by generation. While real estate reports consistently say fewer millennials own or buy homes than older generations had at their age or life stage, millions of millennials are still looking to buy. However, many millennials’—and homebuyers in general—idea of a starter home looks a little different these days. 

Online home insurance quote engine Clovered surveyed more than 1,000 people to uncover their higher-than-ever expectations for a first home, and which variables and amenities matter most when looking for a place.

Dream Size: Millennials Want the Most Space

According to Clovered, when it comes to size and space, Baby Boomer homebuyers would find 2,949 square feet ideal, Gen X buyers dream of a 3,311 square-foot home, and millennials take the cake with an ideal starter home size of 3,320 square feet. Though subtle in difference, millennials are also looking for a place with more rooms than buyers of other generations (4.2 bedrooms and 3.3 bathrooms—compared to 3.7 bed and 3.1 bath (boomers), and 4.1 bed and 3.2 bath (Gen X)).

RELATED: The 7 Most Common Mistakes Homebuyers Make

Dream Location: What Homebuyers Look for in a Neighborhood

Generational differences aside, the quality of location is still a leading factor in the decision to buy. The top two location-related factors when buying a starter home include area affordability (75 percent) and low crime rates (70 percent). Beyond those two that matter most, prospective buyers also consider a house’s proximity to their job, area climate and geography, friendliness of neighbors, how far it is from stores, and whether or not it’s move-in ready.

RELATED: How Much It Really Costs to Sell a House

Dream Amenities: The Ideal Starter Home Will Feature….

The number-one starter home feature for both men and women of any generation is existing central air conditioning. It makes sense, since a central AC system is cost- and energy-efficient, can improve a home’s indoor air quality, and of course, add value to the home in the event they decide to sell. After central air, homebuyers are all about having a private backyard, plenty of storage, lots of natural light, hardwood floors, and a separate laundry room. 

Conversely, the five least important features of a starter home include an outdoor fireplace, elaborate front door, separate master bathroom vanities, a breakfast nook, and smart home technology. As nice as those features sound, survey-takers seem to agree they’re nowhere near as essential.

RELATED: Here’s How Much Money You Really Need to Earn to Buy a House

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