America’s Love Affair With Their Homes

by Stephen Gidus
Reprinted from The PSG Report

Owning a home has always been part of the American Dream. While past generations may have been content with a more modest residence, research shows that today’s homeowners are not only deeply attached to their homes but expect a certain quality of life from them as well.

A recent article appearing in Builder, a trade magazine, provides results from a survey showing what’s most critical to people when it comes to their choice of homes and how they relate to their lifestyle. Two findings are closely linked. One is that over 84% of those surveyed believe “the true value of the home is determined by the neighborhood.” The other is that just over half were more inclined to buy a resale home. What this suggests is that buyers are strongly influenced by the location and are willing to forego buying a new home in order to get into an established neighborhood. Apparently the old adage “Location, Location, Location” remains a driving force when people decide where they want to live.

The desire to enjoy a better way of life is also a top priority driving today’s generation to set other considerations aside in order to get the home of their dreams.

“People care more about whether the house provides the lifestyle they want,” states marketing consultant Pete Halter of V.R. Halter & Associates in Atlanta. “It’s a quality of life issue that’s so important that people are willing to pay, even if it doesn’t make money for them like the stock market.”

Because homeowners “feel a deep emotional attachment to their homes,” as the article points out, buyers of resale homes and people already residing in prime locations are more willing to obtain the lifestyle they desire by remodeling their current residence. These statistics ring true in the Central Florida area where creating a “better quality of life” means taking on projects that can involve complete wing additions that practically double the size of the original home. When prime city space is limited, homeowners will add entire second stories, some of which capitalize on a great lakefront view. Other projects include fabulous gourmet kitchens, exercise rooms, home offices, and one of the latest trends, media rooms. The bottom line is that homeowners are taking the measures necessary to create a pleasurable lifestyle in their existing home.

The most surprising outcome of the survey is the intensity of emotional attachment homeowners feel towards their residence. Today’s buyers are carefully considering neighborhood and lifestyle when making housing choices. Their house is not just a place to lay their heads at night, but a sanctuary in which to retreat at the end of the day. While home ownership has always been part of the American Dream, today’s version is distinctly different from that of just twenty years ago.