energy savers while providing dramatic lighting and am- biance throughout the home. According to Energy Star, 12 percent of the annual energy bill for a typical single-family home comes from lighting. Combining dimming and occu- pancy-sensing lighting for a residence can create an energy savings of 60 percent. NO. 4 KEYLESS ENTRY Convenience is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity. Door locks that can be operated via wifi or bluetooth are becoming a norm. For those who are looking to rent their home or only parts of it (think Airbnb), instead of re-keying locks for each renter, you can simply reprogram your code keys remotely. NO. 5 USB PORTS IN ELECTRICAL OUTLETS With our lives revolving around technology and the need to always stay connected, adding USB ports to electrical outlets will be another one of those perks buyers don’t need, but appreciate. Being able to charge any device from any outlet is appealing. And these are the types of little details buyers

really notice while walking through open houses.

NO. 6 RADIANT FLOOR HEATING Stepping out of the shower onto a warm bathroom floor is a “wow” feature that all buyers appreciate. It is a very energy efficient and consistent type of heat, and because it heats rooms from below, there are no hot and cold areas associated with traditional radiators or duct systems. Rehabber’s Hint: While it is certainly easier to plan and install radiant floors in new construction or when the floors are being replaced during a renovation project, today’s technologies make it possible to retrofit homes with radiant floors. Subfloor heating has been around for centuries, as far back as ancient Rome.

How to Sell aMillennial (or Anyone) a Home: Make it Smart THESE DAYS, EVERY GENERATION WANTS HIGH-TECH HOMES.

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Bobby Montagne is a real estate entrepreneur with three decades of experience in residential and commercial property development, construction and finance. He is the founder of Walnut Street Finance, a private money lender that funds real estate projects in the greater Washington DC metropolitan area.

by Bobby Montagne

illennials are the largest generation in history. They are the generation of social media, instant gratification, movies on demand, and avocado toast. Yet, until recently, they have not been a generation of home buyers, with home ownership rates falling far below previous generations at their age. That appears to be changing, though. In a survey conducted by, 80 percent of Millennial renters want to purchase a home and associate owning a home with the “American Dream.” With more than 83 million Millennials in the United States and the oldest ones just reaching age 35, they dominate the buying population. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR)’s 2017 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, Millennials made up 34 percent of home buy- ers in 2017, followed by Generation Xers at 28 percent. So, what appeals to Millennials when they are looking for a home? Smart homes are becoming increasingly popular, especially with a generation so attuned to technology. Addi- tionally, this group is one of the “greenest” generations ever, and they value environmentally friendly, energy-saving and cost-saving features in their workplace, cars and homes. Here are six technology ideas to incorporate into your renovation projects that will appeal to Millennials as well as other savvy buyers: M

NO. 1 STRUCTURED WIRING Structured wiring is a whole-house network of integrated wiring that ensures the best signal and connectivity for cable, phones, AV systems and security systems. Fully connected homes integrate these systems and help them run together more efficiently, enabling buyers to completely control the home environment. Rehabber’s Hint: It is easiest to install this network when drywall is being replaced and walls are open, but you can do it without tearing out the walls. NO. 2 SMART THERMOSTATS Programmable thermostats have been around for a while, and they keep improving. They can decrease utility use (and waste) by 12-15 percent. The ability to adjust your home temperature from work via your phone is what the new gen- erations of buyers are coming to expect. Smart thermostats go one step further. They learn your routine and sense whether you’re home or away, and can adjust your home’s temperature accordingly even if you forget to do so.

NO. 3 LIGHT DIMMERS Everyone takes these for granted but they are significant

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