The low-maintenance movement has taken hold across generations of homeowners. For millennials—the leading segment of homebuyers—the lower, the better. So summarized by Jill Waage, editorial director of home content for Better Homes and Gardens:
“They want to use their brains for other things, not for remembering whether they adjusted the heat or closed the garage door.”
Smart home automation has answered that call (admittedly with a few questionable products), all but guaranteeing low-maintenance living. Still, there are other, lesser-known low-maintenance features millennials may want to consider when hunting for the home of their dreams.
A brick home, for instance, doesn’t demand the maintenance required for wood or vinyl siding. It won’t rot, and its color won’t fade, sparing the homeowner the expense to repaint the exterior.
“Brick itself is a relatively low-maintenance building material, thanks to its durability and color retention,” explains Jason Hargraves of Angie’s List.
Similarly low-maintenance is metal roofing, which, according to Paul Kazlov of Global Home Improvement, is “one of the most durable roofing materials available on the market.” Properly installed metal roofs don’t absorb water, reducing risk of damage from the elements and lessening the potential for costly repairs.
Inside the home, low- or no-maintenance features are practical in high-traffic areas like the kitchen. Among the “least fussy finishes,” coins Consumer Reports’ Daniel DiClerico, are black stainless steel and quartz.
“Stainless steel has dominated appliances for decades. The only knock against the material is that it can be prone to smudges and fingerprints,” DiClerico says. “That’s creating a lot of interest in black stainless steel.”
Thanks to its matte surface, black stainless steel resists smudges, significantly cutting down cleaning efforts. And quartz, which is non-porous and stain- and scratch-resistant, doesn’t require deep cleaning, either—or sealing, like other countertop materials do.
Wall paint can also be low-maintenance, given the right finish in the right room. Satin paint is a cinch to clean, and can be especially practical in the kitchen or bathrooms; semi-gloss paint is ideal for baseboards and moldings.
“No matter what paint you go with, our experts agree: steer clear of the cheapest choices,” says Stacy Giordullo, also of Angie’s List.
The common denominator among all of these features, of course, is the low-maintenance factor—but they’ll also serve millennials well come resale. Now that’s a no-brainer!