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Half of Americans Would Choose This Over Paying Down Debt

We surveyed Americans about their dream home, and learned about some key generational differences — and similarities. We also asked what respondents would give up in order to live in their dream home.

Key findings:

  • 50% of Americans would rather live in their dream home than have all of their existing debt paid off — but about 4 in 5 (83%) would not give up their smartphone for their dream home. 42% would give up meals out, 41% would forego vacations, 35% would give up social media, 32% would stop shopping and 31% would give up chocolate. Just 17% would give up their smartphone.

  • Younger generations are more aspirational about their dream homes, while older Americans are more realistic. Case in point: nearly 20% of Gen Zers and 15% of millennials say their ideal home costs more than $1 million, compared to just 7% of baby boomers.
  • 3 in 4 millennial homeowners say their first house was a starter home, compared to 56% of baby boomers.
  • 56% of millennials say they will purchase their dream home one day. They’re more optimistic than older generations — just 28% of baby boomers say they’ll live in their dream home, because for 20%, their current house is good enough.

  • More than 2 in 5 (45%) younger millennials (ages 22-29) say their dream home is not located in their current state, versus 36% of older millennials and Gen X and 30% of baby boomers.

  • Modern exteriors and interiors are favored by millennials and Gen Z, but baby boomers prefer cozy ranches.

  • White brick exteriors are the most popular, with gray stone another top contender. Yellow and green are the least popular exterior color choice, and stucco is the least popular material.
  • 80% of Americans prefer open floor plans.

Methodology:

LendingTree commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 1,500 Americans, with the sample base proportioned to represent the general population. The survey was fielded from March 22-27, 2019, and the margin of error for all respondents is +/- 3%.

 


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