Every buyer’s tastes, preferences, and budget is different — but if you look at recent surveys, a picture of the American Dream starts to emerge, and it’s one that’s large, suburban, and comes with a top-notch kitchen.
What Today’s Dream Home Looks Like
According to a recent survey from Porch.com, the ideal home for most Americans is big — boasting four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a whopping 5,000 square feet. It also comes on a property larger than a football field (10.6 acres, to be exact).
Location-wise, buyers are looking for great views. The survey showed they want locations that:
- Are along a waterfront
- Offer a view of coasts, a city skyline, or hills
- In the mountains or have raised elevation
As the study puts it, “For nearly 45 percent of Americans and 52 percent of Europeans, the choice was clear: Waterfront views took home the grand prize. From lakefront properties to oceanfront real estate, views of the open waters can even help people feel more relaxed and active. Suburban and rural areas were also more popular than urban locations, and more than half of Americans and Europeans preferred a new construction.”
According to other data, location preference depends on a few factors. Males, apparently, prefer a beachfront location, while females want a more rural one. Broken down by generation, Boomers gravitate toward the beach, Gen Xers to the country, and millennials to the suburbs.
Buyers also largely want a suburban property, and about 23 percent prefer a gated community. Land, privacy, and peace and quiet are among the top priorities across all buying groups. And according to this survey, “comfortable,” “cozy,” and “spacious” are the most often-used words to describe the average dream home.
All About Style
When it comes to style, American buyers rank ranch homes and farmhouses as their top picks, with craftsman and Mediterranean styles up next. They also prefer shingled roofs, brick exteriors and wood flooring.
In the kitchen (which another study found is the most important room in the house for most millennials), buyers are looking for granite countertops, tile floors, and recessed lighting. In the bedroom, walk-in closets, a balcony and a master bathroom suite.
Other features that are high on their list of priorities? Central A/C, solar panels, energy efficiency, and a deck. Conveniences like a finished basement, first- or second-floor laundry room, a guest room, private backyard, and covered front porch are also preferred by most buyers.
What Buyers Will Pay for Each Feature
Another survey recently broke down what buyers would pay for each home feature — even diving down to the generational level.
The study explains, “When asked about the most essential house amenities, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials had very different perspectives on putting their money where their upgrades were. Millennial homeowners put the highest overall value on centralized AC and heat: They were willing to pay nearly $6,200 extra for the amenity. They also offered to pay over $7,000 for a private patio or backyard — roughly $1,000 more than Gen Xers and over $2,000 more than baby boomers.”
Baby Boomers, it seems, are willing to splurge on more nice-to-haves than other generations. They’d pay $5,560 more to have a swimming pool and $5,183 for a good view — their top two most valuable amenities. They’d also pay more than any other generation for storm windows.
Gen Xers are looking for entertainment value. They want a private patio or backyard, which they’d pay $6,034 more for, as well as a guest bedroom and a swimming pool. Like Boomers, they also value good views.
Millennials are on the hunt for comfort. They ranked central air conditioning, a swimming pool, and a private backyard as their most valuable amenities. They’re also willing to pay a premium for solar panels — nearly $2,000 more than every other generation.
The Gender Gap
It’s not just generations that diverge when it comes to dream home feature and amenities According to a different study, there’s a big gap between genders as well.
Women, for example, place a higher priority on exterior style, location and school districts than men do. They also care more about neighborhood appearance, community safety, and the overall layout of a home, and they put more focus on the financial parts of home buying — things like pricing, insurance costs, taxes, local home values, and more.
Another key difference? In an ideal world, women would prefer a home be move-in ready, while men would prefer exterior maintenance be included in their purchase.
Help Your Clients Find Their Dream Home
Want to help your buyers on the path toward their dream home? Then encourage them to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan first. Refer your clients to Embrace Home Loans, and we’ll walk them through the entire process.