Market Overview

How Much Does Your Dream Home Cost?


What does your dream home look like, and how much does it cost? Whether it's a cottage on a secluded beach, a stately mansion on a hill, or something in-between, your dream home probably won't come cheap.

Two recent surveys agree that America's dream home is relatively expensive but differ on the actual price – along with a few other aspects of the average dream home. and Northshore Fireplace each polled 2,000 Americans to determine what constitutes a dream home. found the average dream home costs an estimated $879,000, while Northshore Fireplace came in at $1.3 million. Both are well beyond Zillow's April 2018 median home value of $215,600.

What will you find in your $879,000 dream home as defined by the survey? You'll get a beach house — or at least beach-house décor — with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, hardwood floors, and an open kitchen. Other features include a deck, spacious walk-in closet, two-door garage – and a respectful distance from your neighbors.

According to, millennials want a larger house (4,000-5,000 square feet) than baby boomers (1,500-2,000 square feet). Millennials also have more expansive plans, desiring amenities like a wine cellar, movie theater, library, children's playroom, and a hidden room.

Baby boomers prefer the simple life, with a nice kitchen, fireplace, storage space, and plenty of windows on their dream list. The boomer dream home reflects a more settled point in life—and probably the understanding of the hassles of cleaning and maintaining a 5,000 squarefoot home.

The Northshore Fireplace survey found an average dream home of 2,195 square feet with 7.5 rooms and plenty of land to maintain their privacy. Respondents also want a nice view while maintaining peace and quiet. In contrast to the survey, millennials in the Northshore survey want fewer rooms (an average of 5.7).

Dream home location varies by generation, according to the Northshore survey. Boomers prefer the beach, millennials the suburbs, and generation Xers prefer the country.

The three most common words used in the Northshore survey to describe a dream home are comfortable, cozy and spacious. Both surveys show the desire to have the optimum amount of space and the furnishings that match their desired style.

If nothing else, these surveys show that the American dream is still alive — at least with respect to homes. Only 40 percent of respondents don't think they'll ever achieve their dream home. According to the Northshore survey, 64 percent believe they'll live in their dream home at some point in their lives.

"Obviously, a huge takeaway that we found from the survey is that owning a home isn't for everyone," said Matt Zajechowski, who helped conduct the Northshore Fireplace survey. "We were shocked to see that 75 percent of the surveyed respondents said that owning a home is a 'lifestyle choice' and not a necessity or requirement to a good life.

"While not everyone in America sees home ownership as a requirement, that doesn't stop some groups from aspiring to be homeowners, including millennials. With all the chatter in the news about millennials not owning homes or entering the housing market, we were pleased to see that 60% of millennials surveyed plan to own a home within the next 5 years."

The surveys agree that well over half of Americans have high housing expectations – but do they have a plan to meet those expectations?

Your idea of a dream home may be very different from these survey results, and that's fine. Others can provide ideas, but only you can define the ideal home for your situation. However, if you aren't going to settle for anything less than your dream home, you'll need to put in some work.

Keep a constant watch on your local market – or the market wherever your dream home is located – to determine the approximate cost of that home. Set a budget that allows you to meet that goal, with respect to down payment and monthly payments. Check your credit report regularly and keep your score high to get the best mortgage interest rates possible.

A healthy financial future starts with proper investments. Use our guides and tools to find the best investment strategy, and the right products to use.

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

Posted-In: contributor contributors homeowners retirementNews Personal Finance Real Estate


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