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Keeping an Eye on DIY: Home Improvement Soars for Millennials

With a growing number of new Millennial homeowners, home improvement stores look for ways to tap into this generation’s unique needs and preferences.

For Millennials, also known as Gen Y, personalization is key in every aspect of life, from their Chipotle orders to their sneaker designs. It should come as no surprise, then, that Millennials also have very specific ideas on what their homes should look like.


Millennials and Home Improvement

Even though many Millennials still live with their parents well into their late twenties, a different set of Millennials is embarking on homeownership. According to a recent article, Millennials now make up more than a third of homebuyers. And instead of snatching up condos in those brand new high-rises that seem to be obscuring every city’s landscape, there appears to be a trend of Millennials buying older resale properties.

But Millennials aren’t buying these older properties for their “quaint” charm. Many Millennials who choose to buy these older properties are already mentally renovating and making improvements before the sale closes. And even though Millennials are far from the only generation to take on home improvements, they are approaching it in a new and unique way.

Websites such as Pinterest and YouTube offer a bevy of do-it-yourself videos and instructions for quick fixes around the house, but for people who seek more professional and vetted advice, major home improvement chains are offering guidance. Lowe’s, for example, has recognized this burgeoning market of Millennial DIY-ers and recently began offering tips and tricks in a series of how-to Vine videos called “Fix in Six.”

But Lowe’s didn’t stop there. Playing to Millennials’ love of nostalgia, they hired a design firm to create life-size dioramas that mirrored the stop-motion animation style of the Vine series. The display also incorporated a “like” button to mimic a social media interaction as a way to blend new technology with a throwback feel.

“Millennials have this romanticized version of what life was like, even in the 1980s,” Jason Dorsey told The New York Times. Dorsey, Millennial researcher, Co-Founder, and President at The Center for Generational Kinetics, works with his team to uncover trends and truths across all generations. Combining nostalgia with modern technology is a winning marketing tool, especially with regard to something as potentially stressful as homeownership and improvement.

Other major home improvement chains, such as The Home Depot, are also targeting DIY-friendly Millennial homeowners by holding in-store workshops.

As more and more Millennials are leaving their parents’ homes and starting to build households of their own, it will be exciting to see which home improvement trends grow.

Are you a Millennial who is a new homeowner? Have you embarked on any home improvement projects lately? Tweet to join the conversation at @WhatTheGen and @JasonDorsey!

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