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Social Media Factors in Millennial Homebuying Decisions

Tamara E. Holmes
Social Media Factors in Millennial Homebuying Decisions

It’s no secret that social media influences many buying decisions, but a new survey suggests that also includes some millennials’ choices when it comes to purchasing a house.

Meredith Corporation, publisher of the print and digital publication Better Homes & Gardens, conducted the New Home Buyers Study by surveying 2,084 women homebuyers between the ages of 25 and 64 and 500 real estate agents that are part of the Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate network.

The survey showed that millennials place a higher value on social media than other generations throughout the homebuying process. While there are some discrepancies in the way that generations are classified, Pew Research defines millennials as those between the ages of 23-38, Gen Xers as those between 39-54 and boomers between 55-73.

When it comes to collecting information during the homebuying process, 21% of millennials said they used the social media platform Pinterest to help them gather data compared with 14% of Gen Xers and 6% of baby boomers. Millennials also were more likely to turn to social media when determining what changes to make to their new homes. In fact, 47% of millennials admitted to getting ideas from social media, a higher percentage than the 35% of Gen Xers and the 16% of boomers.

Open houses go digital

As millennials move in and enjoy their new homes, many appear to want others to share in that experience. An overwhelming 89% of millennial homebuyers said they would be entertaining guests in their new houses during the holiday season. Others said they would share their homes via social media, as millennials were more likely to post images of their house on their social platforms than Gen Xers and boomers. For one out of every three millennials, a house must be, in their viewpoint, “attractive enough for social media.”

One reason millennials may be prone to posting images of their homes on social media could be that they view homeownership as an accomplishment they want to be acknowledged for. In fact, nearly a third — 31% — of millennials surveyed admitted to viewing home purchases as a sign of success, compared with 22% of Gen Xers and 12% of boomers who feel this way.

So what features were the biggest standouts to millennials? A state-of-the-art kitchen was the most desirable dream feature for respondents of all generations, the study found, followed by an outdoor pool. For millennials, the third most desirable feature was separate bathrooms for each partner in the master bedroom. Millennials also valued living in major suburbs, as well as in areas that have short commuting options and have good schools.

If you’re concerned with ensuring your home is “social media ready,” there are a number of ways to get there. You can buy a house that has all of the features you want, or you can buy a house and renovate it. If you choose to go the renovation route, a home renovation loan may prove to be helpful. You might also use other methods of financing renovations, such as refinancing or tapping low-interest rate credit cards.