The Contemporary model.
The Contemporary model.

Are millennial home buyers willing to give up their beloved urban lifestyle? Yes – but there is a catch.

According to a survey of this demographic for the BUILDER Responsive Home project, young buyers want a home that offers what city living gives them, but also key elements that urban areas can’t provide--like space. In fact, 83% of Millennials surveyed said more space is the biggest motivator to purchase a home.

“What the research is telling us is that they want the best of both worlds,” says Claudia Sieb, head of community marketing for Inspirada, the Nevada master-planned development that is home to the project.

The Farmhouse model.
The Farmhouse model.

Millennials want extra space but they also want to be in a walkable community with recreation, trails, and shopping nearby. Some of the most important amenities cited by those surveyed include:
Parks                                   80%
Grocery stores                  78%
Family/friends                   75%
Schools/employment       72%
Entertainment                   71%
Retail stores                       64%
Places of worship              47%

The Responsive Home project, which will be open for tours during the 2016 International Builders’ Show in January, responds to its physical and geographical setting with a powerful indoor-outdoor flow. The pair of demonstration homes are connected to nature via a seamless system of walking and biking trails, connected to miles of world-class hiking. Click here to take a virtual tour of the project.

Besides access to outdoor activities, millennials crave private outdoor spaces, says Linda Mamet, vice president of corporate marketing for TRI Pointe Group, builder of the Responsive Homes. “Outdoor living is something that attracts millennials to home buying and it’s often something they don’t get enough of in a rental situation,” she says. “Even in months and locations when it’s not as good to be outdoors it’s all about light and views and that connection to nature.”

Both homes provide multiple opportunities for interacting with nature from inside, says Hans Anderle, principal of Bassenian Lagoni Architects and lead architect for the Responsive Home project.  For example, sightlines from the entry of the homes lead visitors all the way to the backyard. “Take a few steps into either of the homes and you’ve got multiples points of interacting with the outdoors,” he says. “The dining room, great room, and kitchen all have access to a front courtyard, rear courtyard, or outdoor living covered space on the side of each home,” says Anderle.

To deliver this commitment to outdoor space, the project team carefully considered the selection and size of the lots, says Ken Niemerski, project manager.

“It costs money to have a large lot, so that really emboldened us to say ‘How can this home at the lower end of the spectrum for affordability live and breathe and be experienced as much larger and still have a relatively compact footprint that expands and takes advantage of the yard space for a small home?’”