Survey: Comfort, Style More Critical Than Home Size

by WOHe

Survey: Comfort, Style More Critical Than Home

PITTSBURGH, PA Americans traditionally think big, in everything
from the cars they drive to the sprawling mini-mansions a growing
number of people are calling their home. However, they apparently
have more interest in comfort and style than in sheer size when it
comes to defining the qualities of their “dream” home.

That’s the conclusion of a newly released national survey of
more than 1,000 Americans, which found that, despite the
conventional wisdom on the popularity of larger homes, consumers
really prefer a cozy, safe haven packed with luxury amenities.

The “American Dream House Survey,” whose results were released
in October, was conducted for the Pittsburgh, PA-based Hardwood
Manufacturers Association by the independent market research firm,
Taylor Nelson Sofres Intersearch, of Princeton, NJ.

The survey revealed the average dream-sized house of those
questioned is a spacious, but not excessive, 2,500 sq. ft. And,
almost half the respondents 49% characterized their dream house as
a “safe, comfortable haven instead of a designer show house,”
according to a spokesperson for the Hardwood Manufacturers

That cozy abode is certainly not a simple log cabin,

“When it comes to building materials, consumers don’t want to
stint,” the Hardwood Manufac-turers Association said. “The finest
authentic materials including marble, granite and real hardwoods
like maple and cherry ranked high on the list of luxury elements
fit for a dream house,” the trade organization added. “In fact,
only 25% of the survey’s respondents would be willing to substitute
less-expensive look-alikes if they couldn’t afford the real thing.
They’d rather postpone or redesign their projects, or trade off on
home size to afford the best.”

In terms of specifics, the nationwide poll found that:

  • Only one out of three people 35% feel that their current home
    measures up to the one in their dreams.
  • The high-end home improvements that consumers feel would bring
    their current home closer to the ideal, or impress family and
    friends, centered on the kitchen and bathroom. Half the survey’s
    respondents said they want a custom kitchen that includes real
    hardwood cabinets. Other luxury elements such as professional
    cooking equipment and granite countertops scored high marks with
    more than 40% of the consumers contemplating their ideal living
  • Fifty percent of the respondents reported they would opt for a
    brand new house, built to their specifications, but 20% said they
    dream of a charming old restored period house.

When asked how their lifestyle would change with a move to their
dream house, respondents were split with half saying they would
spend more time on home entertaining, cooking and hobbies, and the
other half saying it would have little or no impact on their

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