Today, Baby Boomers and Millennials make up the largest demographic group in the nation. Over the next decade, these two groups are expected to dominate the real estate market as they prepare to buy new homes. As homebuilders, architects, and design dealers, we must be prepared to meet that demand.

By incorporating design features that these buyers are looking for, we can successfully appeal to both groups, giving them exactly what they need, based on their similarities and differences.


  • The desire to reduce size. Millennials don’t have a lot of “stuff,” while Boomers don’t need as much space anymore if they’re empty nesters. Both buyers are looking for a smaller size home to call their own. Anywhere between 1,850 and 1,900 square feet is the median size that appeals to both types of buyers.
  • Focus on a great kitchen space. Whenever a gathering is set up, everyone eventually gravitates towards the kitchen. It is the “heart” of the home. Boomers and Millennials recognize this and are drawn to homes that offer a well-designed, open kitchen optimized for entertaining guests and cooking together as a family.
  • A large open room. These shoppers envision fun, social interactions in one central area. Both Millennials and Boomers are “experience oriented” and therefore often entertain family, friends, children, grandchildren, or co-workers. Integrating the dining, living, and kitchen areas into a space that can accommodate a variety of situations is ideal for both types of buyers.
  • Outdoor living space that they love. Whether grilling outside on summer nights, playing in the garden, or enjoying the sunset with friends and family, both Boomers and Millennials demand outdoor space and are often willing to pay more than $ 5,000 for an improved outdoor area.
  • Provide space for flex rooms. Boomers are looking for additional space that can change over time and accommodate their hobbies and interests. Millennials need a space that can accommodate the growing size of their family. Having this space available in your plans is ideal for both types of buyers.
  • Pets need love too. For both Boomers and Millennials, pets are members of the family. Both groups appreciate a special space for their pets, as well as storage space for all their food, toys, and other necessities. A nook under the stairs for a pet bed or built-in storage in the laundry room will pique the interest of your buyers as they envision a comfortable area for their furry family member while keeping food and supplies out of sight.
  • Go easy on the stairs. Many Millennials are working in a fast-growing family with young children. Boomers are looking for a space that requires less physical maintenance so they can focus more on relaxing and having fun. For both lifestyles, stairs can be inconvenient. Therefore, consider avoiding the use of stairs in your floor plans when you can.


  • Separate living rooms. Boomers had formal living rooms in their previous homes that were rarely used. Now, Boomers don’t want or need that extra living space. Create unused space that requires unnecessary maintenance. Millennials, on the other hand, want a separate living room to “show off” to guests. Although this could be considered a “formal” living space, Millennials will keep this area more casual than the earlier formal living rooms of Boomers.
  • The great garage debate. Being environmentally conscious, Millennials tend to embrace public transportation and ride sharing. They don’t necessarily need a garage for car parking, although they can use it to store bikes, sports equipment, or garden supplies. However, they may prefer to have the square footage inside the house, rather than in a garage. Boomers also use their garages for more than just cars. They can use them as a work space, additional storage or a place to store their golf clubs, skis and other equipment. Boomers often want a three-car garage, even if they’re a one-car family.
  • Energy efficiency. Energy efficient homes appeal to the Boomer population, saving them time and hassle. In fact, 76% of them are willing to spend the additional cost of upgrades on efficiency packages that can save them at least $100 a month. Millennials feel that these types of options should already be included in the home and will not pay more for this feature.
  • Storage. At this point in their lives, Boomers are downsizing, but they don’t necessarily want to get rid of all the items they’ve collected over the years. 71% of Boomers are willing to spend an extra $5,000 on an area designated solely for storage. Because experiences are more important than tangible items, less than half of the Millennial population is willing to pay more for home storage.
  • Rent, rent, rent. Premiums for fantastic land are popular with Boomers. This is not the case for millennials. With less money to spend, Millennials are more focused on being close to good schools, lush parks and shopping, rather than having a home in a prime location within the community. Boomers have the means to buy a house with the best views, in a desirable part of town or perhaps well situated on a golf course or near the beach.

Boomers and Millennials have striking similarities and some differences, too. By paying attention to what they’re looking for, architects, builders, model home marketers, and designers can deliver homes that resonate with these buyers and help them envision their dreams. When homes and communities are created to appeal to these two buyer segments and their similarities, it really is a double game!