Survey Reveals Homeowner’s Desire For “Smart Homes and Smart Design”

February 4, 2015

Better Homes and Gardens
recently released findings from its survey on the attitude and behavior trends of home buyers in the U.S. The research focused on the “next generation” of homebuyers and their preferences. Just over 1,600 U.S. female homeowners living in single-family homes shared their thoughts on home improvement spending, the importance of functional design and value in home technology. 

“Our research shows that women 35 and under, the ‘Millennial generation’ see value in owning a home, and their attitudes toward making space livable through smart technology and integrated design are significantly stronger than those of their older cohorts,” said Jill Waage, brand executive editor for Better Homes and Gardens. “The next generation of home owners will lead the way in adopting new technology – making features like the ability to preheat an oven or unlock the front door from your smartphone the new norm in home convenience.”

The key findings from the “You and Your Home” survey include:

Adopting Smart Technology.
More than half of U.S. women, including 64 percent of Millennials, believe that smart technology makes their home safer and enjoyable. Respondents report that indoor and outdoor lighting, door locks and security cameras are the areas in which they are most likely to adopt new technology in the future.

Survey respondents under 35 are nearly twice as likely as older generations to agree that technology is easily upgraded and maintained and that it can be customizable to their budgets and needs. Survey participants indicate that the kitchen and living room are the top rooms in the home to benefit from smart technology. Compared to those 35 and older, a larger percentage of Millennials see the garage, laundry room and parent bedroom as rooms in the home that could use smart technology. 

Attitudes Toward Outdoor Living Space.
About half of Millennials report that their current use for outdoor space is limited to grilling, yet a majority want their space to feel like a relaxing retreat for entertaining. Millennials are more likely than older generations to use their outdoor space for meals and to decorate it as they would their living or dining room. Overall, respondents see outdoor living space as an extension of the home and an important place for family to spend time together.

Three out of four participants under 35 report that outdoor space is important for entertaining, in comparison to only 46 percent of those surveyed over age 55. Currently, half of Millennials have a fire pit or fireplace in their outdoor living space, as opposed to only one out of five of those over age 55. Additionally, half of Millennials dream of having an outdoor kitchen sink, cooktop, refrigerator and grill in comparison to only 25 percent of those over age 55 and 37 percent of those 35-55. 

Dreams for the Yard.
U.S. women dream most about adding outdoor elements such as fountains or ponds, products that improve security, low-maintenance plants and wider and stone-paved paths/patios to their yard. Millennials have greater interest than those who are older in investing in security products, edible landscaping, play-space for kids and larger/wider stone-made paths and patios.

Opinions on Curb Appeal.
The majority (86 percent) of U.S. women agree that an up-to-date exterior adds to the value of their property, and 70 percent agree that the front of the home should be a reflection of their personal style. However, one in four women agree that exterior makeovers are expensive and not worth the investment. A significantly higher percentage of Millennials identify with that statement and may need the most convincing to make changes.