Buying a Home: Gen Y-ers Prefer Technology, Technology, Technology to Location, Location, Location

A new breed of home buyer is so bonkers over digital life, more than half of them believe a home's technological fitness is more important than curb appeal.

Set to turn real estate marketing on its head, 64 percent of them say they will pass up a home that's not at least outfitted with some of the latest technological capabilities.

Even more, 84 percent of these younger Americans say technology is an absolute essential to have in their homes.

Brash, young and poised to become the next big demographic bulge to move through the housing market, they are the Millennials, those aged 18 to 35 and also known as Generation Y.

And they demand to be connected.

When buy a home they expect to put some sweat equity into it," said Craig Pyle, business development manager at Vivint, a home automation systems company were demand is up 54 percent.

Pyle says this isn't about gutting walls to run Cat-5 cabling for hard-wired systems. Nor is it about rewiring electrical system.

Instead, pack a control box about the size of a small textbook with the same kind of radio signal used by smartphones and it's go time, said Pyle.

"The thirst for more and more technology grows everyday, but the wiring of a home is not as important, as long as the neighborhood has access to the Internet," says Robert Aldana, a Silicon Valley real estate agent with Intero.

"What is most important is the floor plan and how your choice of technology can work in it," said Aldana.

For $200 down and $70 a month, a homeowner can access the control box with a dedicated touch pad or any Internet-enabled device to manage and monitor energy, security and small appliances, said Vivint's Pyle.

"I do get the request for 'fixer uppers,' but their (Gen Yers') version of a 'fixer upper,' may be a 'technological fixer upper' not the 'fixer upper' that most of us refer to," said Lance Owens a real estate agent with LUVA Real Estate in Kailua Kona, HI.

Which could explain why some real estate agents say they don't see many tech heat-seeking buyers.

"I have a 'Mac' guy I am writing an offer for as we speak. I showed him several listings, but not once did he ask about "techie" stuff," said Owens.

A fixer upper means a smaller, somewhat older, out-of-repair home, rather than a tear down.

A smaller home means a smaller home loan that saves money for all the technological gadgetry that will come later.

Many Gen Yers can rig their own gadgets.

BHG's survey said nearly half (47 percent) of Millennials also said they'll handle their own home improvements, rather than calling in a pro. Most of them, 72 percent, say they are at least as handy around the home as their parents.

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