It is the age of the Millennial Home Buyer! This broad generation has started to buy homes and along with that comes the need for new and exciting home features! Some of the most popular home Features and Home Upgrades? Take a look below!

Hidden storage
Storage options in the home is one of those things that EVERYONE could use more of. I’ve been in the real estate biz, and one thing I have NEVER heard is “Oh no Phil, this house just has TOO many closets! I don’t have enough stuff to fill up all this storage!”

Are you struggling to find places to keep all those extra items that accrue over time? Maybe you just have a SUPER small kitchen… either way, these awesome hidden storage hacks will help you free up some space (and all your friends will think you are a genius!).

Under Stair storage – This home upgrade may require a bit of demo work, but all that space is just going to waste! You can tailor this to your needs and style. Add a door and shelving inside, or have open shelving for books, pictures etc…

Wasted spaces – You know that empty space beside your fridge? Those “fake” drawers in front of your sink? Don’t let these spaces go to waste! You can easily install a rolling shelf, and turn that “fake” drawer into a space you can use to store sponges, or even paper towel!

Inside doors – Pantry doors, closet doors, cabinet doors etc – This is an old trick but seems to go over looked a LOT! You can use these spaces to organize everything in your home from spices to belts!

Check out more awesome home organizational hacks here!

Hidden outlets
Have you ever had the PERFECT room layout in your mind, just to realize that it won’t work because there isn’t an outlet where you need it? What you need, my friend, are these AMAZING hidden outlets! They’re one of the easiest, convenient upgrades and EVERYONE in your home will LOVE you! The best part? You can put them ANYWHERE!

Never have to worry about where to put appliances or furniture ever again! Hide outlets EVERYWHERE!

Grocery door
If you’re anything like me, you hate grocery shopping. Dealing with people at the store, loading groceries INTO the car just to have to UNLOAD them once you get home… and heaven forbid if you have to take multiple trips! This awesome home upgrade helps simplify the grocery shopping saga. Now you can just pop open a door that leads directly from the garage INTO THE PANTRY! Yes, you heard me right! Your groceries will be IN the pantry already when you come in the house! How cool is that?

Luxury bathrooms As the size of families steadily shrink, the size of bathrooms to go in those houses is getting larger and larger. Why is this? People want PRIVACY in their lives, and not only do they want privacy – they want to enjoy this privacy in luxury. We want luxury bathrooms with fancy fixtures, elegant cabinetry, and maybe even a Jacuzzi!

The top must haves for luxury bathrooms?
Spa like showers and baths - Rain shower heads, more than one showerhead surround sound, built in shower nooks for shampoo, soaker tubs… all these items have had a HUGE boom over the last five years! And we can see why! Step into a shower with mood lighting, rain forest noise ambiance and jets shooting from every which way and see how long you want to stay in there

Another must have for your luxury bathroom is a plethora of space! We’re talking his and hers vanities, LOTS of cabinet space, walk in closets, built in vanities… The works.

Top all this with expensive materials for counters, floors and walls (think natural stone options like marble, granite and travertine…) partnered with custom made fixtures and accents and you have an opulent bathroom fit for the most refined of tastes!

Upgraded flooring
The last thing you want in your new home (or even a home you have lived in for a while!) is outdated, stained carpet. Nothing can ruin the design of a room like some shag carpeting! While it had its time and place (a van in the 70’s…) updated flooring is a MUST HAVE for 2018.

The best part? Your options on flooring choices are ENDLESS! Carpet, Ceramic Tile, Luxury Vinyl Flooring, Hardwood flooring… the list goes on and on. PLUS you can pick and choose what works best for your home’s style and budget!
Carpet – Carpeting is a great choice for your rooms for three reasons. First – Carpet can add to the décor of any room using color, patterns and pile heights. Secondly – Carpet serves as added insulation and can help save energy! Third – carpet provides a psychological feeling of warmth and security in a home.

Ceramic Tile
 –If you are in need of flooring that will resist water (think kitchens, bathrooms or homes with pets/kids…) Ceramic tile is a great go to! You can use it as flooring or countertops, and it has a great luxurious feel. Not only that, but its super resistant and will last a very long time!

Luxury Vinyl Flooring – Also known as luxury vinyl tile or Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVT or LVP), This flooring comes in a variety of looks from wood to stone, and is designed to resist moisture and wear and tear! Don’t think your grandmas old sheet vinyl flooring – this product has come such a long way that its no longer the same thing at all! Plus, the price point makes it a very attractive choice.

Hardwood Flooring – This is one of the most popular types of flooring. Not only is it beautiful, but it is durable as well! Hardwood Flooring can come in a variety of options – Maple, Pecan, Beech, Cherry, Oak, Pine, Birch, Walnut, Hickory and more. It is a long lasting product that can be refinished down the road!

Natural Stone
 – This product has been around as long as people have been building things! The pyramids, The Tivoli Fountain, The Roman Coliseum… all natural stone. That should tell you one thing right off the bat – Natural Stone tile is DURABLE! Don’t hear the word ‘stone’ and think rustic and dingy – Marble and Granite are both natural stone options that can make quite an impact on your room!

Smart home features

Smart home features are a HUGE must have, especially now that it’s time for millennials to start buying homes. Some of the most sought after smart home features are incredibly convenient, and are sure to make your life a lot easier!

Whole Home Security Systems – These are one of my favorite items in the ‘Smart Home’ category. These amazing systems really do create a sense of security for you and your family. They come with the standard options – like open door detectors and alarms (as they have for years). However, some of the ADDED options are really sweet.

Doorbell camera – Wondering who is at the door while you are out back? Waiting for a package to arrive? The new doorbell cameras feature an HD video camera so you can check the app on your PHONE to see who is at the door. PLUS they are motion activated – so no more ding dong ditch!

Glass Break Detector
– This feature is awesome for the thief’s who opt for the ‘breaking a window’ approach to BNE… They don’t have to OPEN the door or window for these alarms to go off!

Smart Light Timers – That you can control from your PHONE once again! Are you out of town? Did your doorbell camera just notify you of a suspicious person on your porch? Simply open the app, and turn on a few lights. Or you can just turn them on and off repeatedly to mess with the cat…

The Amazon Echo/ Google Home Mini – I have personally owned both products and am in love with them! Initially I thought they were unnecessary, but overtime I have come to the point where I cant live without them (well, maybe I could – but it wouldn’t be as much fun!) Both options allow you to sync your music, calendars, contacts etc for an integrated system that allows you to do EVERYTHING! From playing music to telling you about your day tomorrow, Send a text or even telling you a joke – the uses these gadgets have is endless! And they are GREAT for settling arguments! (“Hey Alexa.. who was the actor who played The Big Lebowski?”) There are a million add on’s that allow you to control the lights, and even order groceries!

Combo USB outlets – How many items in your home do you have that require charging? In my home we have…. 4 cell phones, 2 tablets, a fit bit, a kindle and a smart watch… and it seems there are NEVER enough charging ports for all of them! And when you have company come over and they forgot their charger? Ugh! When it comes to easy smart home features, upgrading your outlets is a great option. Add some dual outlets with built-in USB ports! Simply plug your cord in and voila! Plus, you won’t have to worry about unplugging lamps and appliances so you can free up an outlet!

Luxury Outdoor Spaces
Let’s move from the inside of the home to the outside for this one. Yes, you spend a lot of time in your home, but when the weather is nice it’s great to be able to get outside and enjoy your space! Simple decks and patios are a thing of the past! Luxury Outdoor Spaces are here to last! A couple of our favorite outdoor space staples…

Outdoor Lighting – Get rid of that old fan and go for something a bit more off the wall! Chandeliers, Table Lamps, Fire pits, White Twinkle Lights, Tiki Torches, Candles, Sconces… all these great options add the perfect ambiance to your outdoor retreat!

Outdoor Kitchens – We aren’t talking dads grill anymore! This is one of the most common big ticket items when it comes to the outside of your home today. They come with a variety of high end features like fridges, beer taps, side burners, built in sinks… you get the idea. These spaces literally take entertaining – and everything you need to do so – outside.

Luxury seating
 – When entertaining outside you need somewhere for your guests to relax! Even if its just you at home for a quiet evening, you want to be comfortable! This is one area you don’t want to skimp on! You get what you pay for with outdoor seating. Sure it may cost less, but it’s also CHEAPER… made with less sturdy, durable materials that will fade, tear and potentially even rot. Spend a little bit extra when creating your outdoor space. Comfortable seating with lots of pillows and different patterns create a great ambiance for any outdoor space!

And of course… a covered area – Canopies, pergolas, gazebos … these are all awesome options to consider for your outdoor space! Each option has a different price point, and will give a different feel to your space. Consider the look you are going for, and WHY you want this item. If it is so you can grill in the rain – a pergola isn’t for you.

Energy efficient

An energy efficient home is a Happy home! Cliché? Yes! True? Also yes! Mainly because YOU will be happier about your power bills each month and have more money to spend elsewhere!

Solar panels –
 These are a great option when trying to ‘Go Green’ with your home. Sure, they cost a bit to get them installed and set up initially, but in the end you will recoup your money’s worth and then some! You may even be one of the lucky ones who ends up with the utility company paying YOU! You can earn a tax credit for installing solar panels in your home as well, which will help recoup some of the initial costs! Plus – you’re helping to save the environment!

LED lights
 – LED lighting is a high energy efficient lighting technology that uses 75% less energy and can last 25x longer, than regular light bulbs. Not only is this great for your electric bill, but it’s great for our planet!  According to the Department of Energy, “Widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States. By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save about 348 TWh (compared to no LED use) of electricity: This is the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants (1000 megawatts each), and a total savings of more than $30 billion at today’s electricity prices.”

Install Energy Efficient Windows & Doors – Upgrading your doors and windows can drastically reduce your electrical usage. Another good idea- install a storm door! They generally have a protective coating that can help reduce energy loss by up to 50%, they last 25-50 years and can cost as little as $75!

Read more about energy efficient windows & Doors HERE!

Change out fixtures

Lights and plumbing! These often overlooked hardware upgrades can give your kitchen or bathroom a whole new look! Go from plain silver to a rustic brushed bronze.
Replacing lighting fixtures add a quick makeover to any room, plus with the newer fixture you will have a brighter, more open feel to your space!  Make them uniquely you by mixing and matching, or use the same elements throughout your house to create a feel of unity!

See? Updating these simple items can make all the difference in the world!

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