Since we were kids, we’ve always been told to chase the American Dream. Get a good education, get a good job, get married, buy a home, have kids and move up the socioeconomic ladder. Of course, the buying a home part is probably the most difficult part of chasing the American Dream, but as of right now, 64% of Americans are successful homeowners. Not bad for a country whose housing market is allegedly turning into a “renter’s economy.”
For those people who are able to become a homeowner, what does their conception of an American dream home look like in 2018? A recent survey was released hoping to get to the bottom of this question. We’ll detail their answers below.
Aesthetic Appeal: Old vs. New
The respondents in this survey were a mix of Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers, and their ideal preference when it came to their home design was dependent on their age.
Traditional Style Homes
When envisioning their dream home Baby Boomers imagined traditional style homes. What does this mean? Traditional homes are typically made of wood and/or brick and have a classic, typically single-level design. The roofs are triangular and there is little ornamentation on the outside of the home.
Several different home styles fit under the “traditional” umbrella, though. Colonial, Victorian, and Ranch-style homes are just a few examples of the traditional homes. If you live in the South or Northeast, you are probably very familiar with these homes.
On the other hand, when Millennials and Gen Xers envisioned their dream home, they saw homes that could be exhibited in the MoMA or designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Modern homes are characterized by their more square-like architecture. Oftentimes they have a brutalist aesthetic, made of concrete or gray brick, accompanied by warm wood accents. Inside, these homes typically have a purely minimalist, utilitarian design.
Where Traditional homes feel warm and cozy, Modern homes feel like an art gallery. These types of homes are fitting for people who grew up with a hyper-alertness for aesthetic appeal. These homes are extremely Instagrammable, making it perfect for the Millennial generation.
Location, Location, Location
Surprisingly, when envisioning their dream homes, every age cohort in the survey didn’t seem to keep their family in mind. Only 14% of the survey respondents said that their dream home had to be close to a good school. And only 11% said that they wanted their home to be close to an entertainment or nightlife hub.
However, the age cohorts differed on where they said they wanted their dream home to be. You might be surprised by the results.
Boomers said that their dream home would be built on the beach, whereas Gen Xers wanted their dream homes to be built in the country and suburbs, respectively. This is interesting considering the fact that Millennials have a reputation for flocking to big urban centers.
There was also an interesting split between men and women. Men wanted to live on the beach, and women wanted to live in the country. This might also be considered a stereotype-breaking response, as men are typically the ones you’d expect to live in the rough country.
Spacious Home Layout
When it comes to home size and layout, respondents of all genders and ages agreed that they wanted their homes to be large and spacious. On average, their dream homes had an area of at least 2,195 square feet and contained 7.5 rooms.
All the respondents also agreed that they would spend most of their time in their living rooms, so they wanted that area to be the largest in the house. As is typical in new home builds, the respondents also wanted big, open floor kitchens with a big island and a large range for cooking.
When it comes to interior design, the words respondents most commonly used to describe their homes were cozy, spacious, and comfortable.
For Modern homes, the cozy and comfortable descriptors may seem at odds with the style, but there are still plenty of ways to make a minimalist design look inviting. All you need is the right interior home builder. You can learn more about that here.
When it comes to affording their American dream home, the reality for most of the respondents is quite bleak. The surveyors found that the average listing price for the homes the respondents described would be around 1.3 million dollars. For Millennials, this number was even higher, at 1.5 million.
Quite frankly, most Americans will never be able to own a home at that price. The median household income in the U.S. is currently hovering around $56,000 a year.
At this salary, it’s easy to imagine why 20% of the Millennials in this survey said that even the thought of owning a home gave them a lot of anxiety.
A good portion of the people who responded to this survey said that they actually already lived in their dream home. Of the respondents that said they make between $30-$50 thousand a year, 26% percent said they already lived in their dream home. Surprisingly, only 20% of people who made over $100,000 a year said that they were living in their dream home.
Even more surprisingly, 42% of people who live in homes smaller than 1,400 square feet said they were already in love with their homes, while only 18% of people who lived in homes larger than 2,400 square feet said they were living in their dream home already.
This just goes to show once again that money cannot buy happiness.
Want to Build Your American Dream Home?
Hopefully, this article has shed some light on what Americans want out from their ideal homes. The only question now is, what would yours look like? Would your answers fall in line with these respondents?
If you’re not sure and want some inspiration for designing your American dream home, be sure to check out the home and garden section of our website. We’ve got all sorts of tricks and tips for home ownership.