For some time, "suburban millennial" has been considered an oxymoron. But the generation's taste for urban living might have already reached its peak. According to Dowell Myers, an urban planning professor at USC, now that millennials have reached an average age of 25, they are likely to follow the pattern of previous generations and start heading to the suburbs in search of good schools and outdoor amenities.
Newmark Homes is doubling down on this prediction, hoping to entice younger homebuyers with a new series of floor plans they are debuting for the Veranda planned community near Richmond, designed with millennial tastes in mind. With homes starting at $230,000 and maxing out at 2,800 square feet, Newmark's Portrait series rethinks the traditional single-family home layout, ridding the floor-plans of underutilized space.
Gone is the formal dining room and the breakfast nook, replaced by a casual dining room that's open and adjacent to the kitchen, serving both purposes in a way that's more attuned to the ways people entertain today. Also on the chopping block is the study, which has been replaced by a small study nook (now that everything is on the cloud) with the extra space being put towards bedrooms, closets and family rooms, according to development manager Rodney Mican.
Versatile kitchen layouts are another selling point of these new homes—each home can be customized with one of five different kitchen options, catering to millennials ranging from "only orders from GrubHub" to "needs display kitchen in which to shoot photos for lifestyle blog."
As for the exterior, the traditional “in-your-face garage” is pushed back and the living space pulled forward, making room for a façade with more curb appeal. “Prospective homebuyers are asked to imagine evenings spent relaxing on the porch with loved ones or long walks surrounded by lush landscaping, all while in the comfort of your community,” says Newmark Homes vice president Jeff Dye.
Though the series is targeted to millennial first-time home buyers, Dye thinks other demographic groups like empty nesters will be fans as well. Interested, ye millennials who are not afraid of a considerable commute, now that you have podcasts to listen to? Sales inside the Veranda community began this week.