When you think of the American dream home, what do you think of? A huge mansion? A Cape Cod-style house with black shutters surrounded by a white picket fence? A modern farmhouse that looks like it should be on HGTV? According to a recent report from Opendoor, which surveyed 1,672 Americans between the ages of 21 and 75, it might be none of the above.
While some might assume that Americans are always looking for more, Opendoor’s data shows a trend in the opposite direction. Smaller homes, which tend to be easier to maintain, are trending.
Google searches also indicate an interest in a minimalist lifestyle, with searches for the term “minimalist” remaining steady from May 2020 through May 2023. Could Americans finally be embracing a “less is more” approach to life? Here’s what the report has to say.
What Americans Are Looking for in a Home
Nearly 60 percent of survey participants said their definition of a “dream home” has changed in the past three years. They’re no longer considering large mansions, sleek new builds, or high-rise condos in the city. Instead, they’re gravitating towards simple-sizing. The report defines this term as the idea that you make intentional choices at home to simplify and embrace an easier-to-manage, more contented lifestyle.
In addition to a smaller home, 81 percent of survey participants wanted homes that were more simply designed.
Does this mean maximalism is on its way out? While it’s impossible to know for sure, it’s worth noting that a lot of popular design trends in recent years have been on the more minimalistic side. From “sad beige” to neural hues in general to the popularity of sleek Scandinavian design, it’s easy to see that simplicity is on the rise.
Simple Is Best
The majority of participants that Opendoor surveyed (87 percent) rated “simple living” as important. Some 75 percent even said they were willing to downsize their possessions, and the majority of those participants were trying to do so within the next year.
Quiet Is Key
Perhaps it’s the influence of the pandemic or just too many noisy neighbors, but approximately 67 percent of participants indicated they wanted to move to a quieter place. Could this mean the new American dream home is located on an island in the middle of nowhere? After all, 57 percent said they wanted a private and secluded location.
This could also mean city condos are on their way out too. The data showed only 51 percent wanted to be close to amenities such as shopping and restaurants. Just 23 percent considered being close to a metropolitan area as a must-have, while 28 percent of those surveyed stated they didn’t want to live in a metropolitan area at all.
Here’s Why Less Is More
Several factors are causing many Americans to reconsider our current lifestyles and make more deliberate choices about where and how they live. The report concluded, “The strongest impetus for making intentional lifestyle choices to simplify seems to be health concerns, followed by environmental concerns, and then external pressures such as work, school, or friends and family. Being intentional helps to reduce stress, and following several years of feeling stressed, these responses suggest that making more intentional choices—inside and outside the home—are here to stay.”
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Article Written By: Amanda Lauren; Published in Real Simple 6/27/23