What does the American dream home look like? Depends on your age

american dream home survey bates masi architects house with large deck patio
Bates Masi Architects
Ask three different people what their idea of a dream home is, and you’ll likely get three very different answers, especially if they happen to be 26, 40, and 57. Not everyone who currently rents their place wants to buy a house, but even among homeowners, the majority are still hunting for their dream home, according to a Harris Poll conducted for Trulia.

The majority of Millennial renters, 89 percent, plan to buy a home one day, as do 77 percent of Gen-X renters and 40 percent of Baby Boomer renters. Yet the ideal house looks different for each of the generations and remains elusive for even current homeowners: Only 35 percent of those surveyed say they already own their dream home, and 28 percent make a monthly search for the perfect place.

Whether Millennials are looking for a modern-style home (22 percent), Victorian or Craftsman (13 percent), or high-rise penthouse (six percent), over half (60 percent, to be precise) want a balcony with a view or a backyard deck (59 percent). Both Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers favored decks over balconies — 65 versus 46 percent, and 55 versus 33 percent, respectively. This might reflect the fact that the two older generations preferred the suburbs or countryside, while Millennials were open to living anywhere, as long as they had a short commute (34 percent) and the area had good schools (34 percent).

Baby Boomers showed the most enthusiasm for smaller homes, with 15 percent hoping to find a house between 800 and 1,400 square feet. Only five percent and seven percent, respectively, of Millennials and Gen-Xers wanted a house in this shoulder-hunching range. The most popular home sizes across the board were between 1,401 and 2,600 square feet.

A moderately sized home isn’t the only thing the three generations have in common, though. Similar percentages amongst all three groups wanted to live in log cabins, farm houses, or Colonial-style homes. And the most popular category for all the generations was “Other,” with over 30 percent in each age bracket wanting to live in anything from Mediterranean style homes to townhouses to houseboats. Since Trulia didn’t provide the breakdown on these, we’ll just assume everyone wants to live the seafaring life.

If you don’t want a gourmet kitchen or open floor plan in your dream home, your desires are different from the majority of the survey’s 2,026 respondents, who do. That’s not a huge sample size, and it would be interesting to see something like what Swedish housing site Hemnet did, analyzing what its two million visitors clicked on each month to find the aggregate Swedes’ ideal home.

Smart Home

The biggest houses ever, from a personal skyscraper to a tech magnate's mansion

The only thing bigger than these giant homes is their huge price tags. There's a reason many of the owners are billionaires instead of millionaires. Check out the digs of some of the richest people in the world.
Home Theater

Make the most out of your new Apple TV with these must-have apps

If you're looking to turn your fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K into an all-in-one entertainment powerhouse, we can help you get started with this list of the best Apple TV apps you can download.

Among hundreds of choices, these are the best 25 SNES games of all time

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games.

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Smart Home

OK Google, what else can you do? The best tips and tricks for Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.
Home Theater

Reasons not to mount a TV over your fireplace (and other helpful tips)

Mounting a TV above your fireplace may be popular and it might even seem appealing, but we have some concerns. We've got a list of reasons why placing your digital picture machine over a fire should be avoided, if at all possible.
Smart Home

Stainless steel is so last year. In 2019, it’s all about colorful appliances

For the past couple of decades, the color of choice for appliances has been stainless steel. Now, makers are introducing ovens, fridges, and dishwashers in vibrant hues to give customers a more customized, refined look in the kitchen.
Smart Home

Colored fridges are back, baby! GE’s new appliances revive the 1950s trend

GE Appliances is coloring us surprised at KBIS 2019 by introducing new hues for its signature Cafe line of smart home appliances including four new hues launching this fall to complement its black and white options.
Smart Home

Amazon Echo Dot vs. Echo Dot Kids Edition: What’s the difference?

The Echo Dot Kids Edition combines a free year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited with a two-year, worry-free warranty. But is the Kids Edition really all that much different than the regular Echo Dot?
Product Review

Miele's TWI180 dryer has one job, but struggles to get it done

Miele’s Heat-Pump Dryer is a compact machine that steams your clothes by recycling the water collected during the drying process. But how well does this technique work for getting clothes dry?

Suck up the savings with these vacuum cleaners on sale for $100 or less

Keeping your floors clean around the home is a constant chore. To help make things a whole lot easier, we've picked out some great vacuum cleaner deals available right now, from full-sized upright models to robot vacs.
Smart Home

1 in 4 people plan to buy a smart lock this year, study says

According to new research published by Parks Associates, one in four households in the United States are planning to purchase as smart door lock within the next 12 months to protect their home.
Smart Home

Samsung lets slip that its Galaxy Home speaker will be here by April

Samsung has been teasing customers about its Galaxy Home smart speaker, powered by the Bixby digital assistant, for some time but after neglecting to mention it at Galaxy Unpacked, the company let it slip that it's coming in April.
Smart Home

Become a master chef with restaurant-grade gear you can put in your home

Hestan's new line of customizable indoor cooking suites for home chefs features ranges and range tops in a variety of sizes, single or dual fuel sources, number of burners, and griddles in two sizes with single or multiple heat zones.