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The Future Is Now: Sustainable Homes for the Booming Millennial Market

October 03 2016

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I get home late and everyone's asleep. We're in the middle of a heat wave, but it's so cold inside that I know the A/C has been on all day and probably all week. Next month's utility bill confirms this suspicion. I walk upstairs and notice all the lights are on, except the one in the hall which would've shown me the Lego I just stepped on. So now I'm freezing and my foot hurts too.

I think to myself—there has to be a simpler way. There must be another way that I can shelter my family without wasting so much money and space and resources. We don't need half the space in our house and consume twice as much as we should.

Who am I?

I'm a millennial. I was born in 1984. There are around 75 million people in the US just like me.

And guess what? Many of my millennial peers feel the same way I do. Considering we outnumber baby boomersoutnumber baby boomers as the largest portion of the American population, real estate professionals should take these feelings very seriously.

What do I want?

I want alternatives. I want a smaller house and fewer bills. I care about the environment. I want to do my part for the world and live sustainably.

So what are my options?

Earthship

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EarthshipsEarthships are sustainable, off-the-grid homes constructed out of recycled materials—tires, bottles, cans etc. There are no utilities with Earthships: electricity comes from the sun and the wind, water is caught from the rain and snow, filtered and re-used four different times, household sewage is treated and reused for food production and landscaping, heating comes from the sun and stored via insulation, and finally, food is grown in-house. These have been around for a while now—you can check out some currently for sale herefor sale here.

Tiny Houses

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TheseThese are very popular houses for people looking to downsize or live alone. Units are usually around 300 square feet. The appeal? These units are cheap to build and power and easy to transport. And due to their popularity, there are some extremely stylish builds out there. Just head over to Pinterest and search for Tiny Houses to see what I mean!

Techstyle Haus

From Germany, the Techstyle Haus boasts the typical passive home benefits (using 90 percent less energy than a standard house). However, unlike other passive-home designs, the Techstyle Haus uses textiles for the roof and the walls. This gives the house a flexible design which in turn allows it to capture more solar energy. This design won the Solar Decathalon 2014 event—a competition in which universities from around the world compete to build innovative solar paneled homes. This may be a design to keep an eye on in the future.

How can you help me?

You need to consider the millennial market and inevitable disruption the demographic will wreak on the real estate industry. With climate change and resource depletion becoming major issues, the new generation of home-buyers is going to be a lot more cognizant of their potential impact on the Earth. Terms such as 'sustainable', 'renewable' and 'passive house' need to be in your lexicon now as they will be in demand in the near future.

Millennials know what these terms mean and if you want their business, you should too. If you don't acknowledge this demographic shift, then you'll become just as outdated as those brokerages and agents that failed to adapt to the internet.

Know of any other novel house designs and/or sustainable living tips? Add your voice to the comments section below!

To view the original article, visit the Lone Wolf blogLone Wolf blog.

Other articles of interest: What is Green? | Need a New Year’s Resolution?