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Millennials more likely to install smart devices

LAS VEGAS — Young women want homes with smart technology and integrated design, according to the results of a Better Homes and Gardens survey released last week.

More than 1,600 female homeowners living in single-family homes shared their thoughts on home improvement spending, the importance of functional design, and the value of home technology. The seventh-annual survey focused on the ‘‘next generation’’ of home buyers and their preferences on topics such as outdoor living spaces, exteriors, kitchens, and the integration of smart technology and design.

‘‘Our research shows that women 35 and under, the 'millennial generation,’ see value in owning a home, and their attitudes towards making space livable through smart technology and integrated design are significantly stronger than those of their older cohorts,’’ Jill Waage, brand executive editor for Better Homes and Gardens, said at the International Builders Show. ‘‘The next generation of homeowners will lead the way in adopting new technology--making features like the ability to preheat an oven or unlock the front door from your smartphone the new norm in home convenience.’’

Among the survey’s key findings:


Smart technology

More than half of the women surveyed, including 64 percent of millennials, believe that smart technology makes their home safer and enjoyable. Respondents report that indoor and outdoor lighting, door locks, and security cameras are the areas in which they are most likely to adopt new technology.

While 64 percent of millennials agreed that smart technology costs a lot of money, nearly the same number also said this investment can save energy. Survey respondents under 35 were about twice as likely as older generations to agree that technology is easily upgraded and maintained and that it can be customizable to their budgets and needs.

■  57 percent of the millennials surveyed said smart technology is a good investment in their home, as opposed to only 35 percent of those age 55 and above


■ 59 percent of millennials said smart technology can be integrated into their personal style, taste, and decor as opposed to only 29 percent of the respondents age 55 and above

Survey participants indicated that the kitchen and living room are the top spaces that would benefit from smart technology. A larger percentage of millennials saw the garage, laundry room, and master bedroom as areas that would benefit.

Outdoor living space

About half of millennials reported that their outdoor space is limited to grilling, yet a majority want theirs to feel like a relaxing retreat for entertaining. Millennials are more likely than older generations to use their outdoor space for meals and to decorate it as they would their living or dining room. Overall, respondents saw outdoor living space as an extension of the home and an important place for family to spend time together.

■ Three out of four millennials said outdoor space is important for entertaining, compared with only 59 percent of those surveyed ages 35-55 and 46 percent of those respondents 55 and older

■ Currently, half of the millennials surveyed have a fire pit or fireplace in their outdoor living space, as opposed to only one out of five of those over age 55. Twenty-five percent of millennials have a sound system installed, and 22 percent report using a television outdoors--as opposed to 13 percent and 6 percent, respectively, of those over age 35

■ 51 percent of millennials want an outdoor kitchen sink, cooktop, refrigerator, and grill, compared with only 25 percent of those over age 55


The yard

The women surveyed want outdoor elements such as fountains or ponds, products that improve security, low-maintenance plants, and paths and patios. Millennials showed greater interest in investing in security products, edible landscaping, play spaces for kids, and larger/wider stone paths and patios.

■ 51 percent of millennials would like to install products that improve security in their yards, as opposed to only 31 percent of respondents over age 55

■ 39 percent of millennials reported a desire for edible landscaping. The percentage for those above age 55 was lower (21 percent)

Curb appeal

The majority of the women surveyed agreed that an up-to-date exterior adds to the value of their property and that the front of the home should be a reflection of their personal style.

■ 33 percent of millennials found exterior makeovers expensive and not worth the investment, as opposed to 16 percent of those respondents age 55 and over

■ Exterior features that rank most highly on the list of updates include landscaping, lighting, and front doors

‘‘The next generation of homeowners want smart, stylish homes that enable them to connect with friends and family,’’ Waage said. ‘‘This connected generation views technology as a way to get greater enjoyment from their home-living experience as well as piece of mind.’’

The online survey was conducted from Oct. 23 to Nov. 24. The margin of error is +/- 2.4 percent. Send comments to