Dreaming Big

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3688 Foothill 1

Source: Trulia

Do boomers have different house-size preferences than their younger counterparts, and just what size homes do Americans really want? Trulia set out to determine the answers to these questions in a new survey that examined the discrepancy between people’s ideal residence size and the current size of the residences, among other factors.

Making sense of the story


  • Only 40 percent of respondents said they are living in the size home that’s ideal. Over 43 percent answered that the size of their ideal residence is somewhat or much larger than their current digs.
  • Only 16 percent said that their ideal residence is smaller than their existing home.
  • In contrast to expectations that baby boomers want to downsize, the survey found that more boomers would prefer to live in a larger home than a smaller one. Twenty-one percent said their ideal residence is smaller than their current home, while 26 percent wanted a larger home – a 5-percentage-point difference.
  • Just over half (53 percent) of boomers said they’re already living in their ideally sized home. Nonetheless, members of this generation are more likely to want to downsize than millennials and GenXers.
  • Millennials are much more likely to want to upsize than downsize. Just over 60 percent of millennials said their ideal residence is larger than where they live now – the largest proportion among the generations in the survey sample.
  • Only a little over 13 percent of millennials said they’d rather have a smaller home than their existing one, which is also the smallest among the generations in the survey sample.
  • GenXers are hitting their peak earning years and many in this group may be in a position to trade up. Just 38 percent of this generation said where they live now is a dream-sized residence. Nearly a majority (48 percent) said their dream home is larger, while only 14 percent of GenXers would rather have a smaller home.

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