Contrary to Popular Belief, America’s Dream Home Is Not a Fixer-Upper Farmhouse
Sorry, Chip and Jo.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:06 AM
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When it comes to putting down roots, the style of your home is apparently just as important as the school district. In a new survey from Porch, 1,069 U.S. homeowners weighed in on the pros and cons of turnkey homes versus fixer-uppers and found that architecture might just be the secret to longevity.
The report looked at two key factors: how long respondents have lived in their current home and the architectural style of their home. Overall, it found that people stayed longer in move-in-ready homes. So despite the Internet’s all-encompassing obsession with run-down farmhouses, shabby-chic homes might not be the best pick if you’re looking to settle down. Instead, the study found that people who have lived in Regency-style houses tend to outlast their fellow homeowners by an average of two years. Other buzzy styles like Dutch Colonials, Craftsman homes, and ranches quietly trailed behind.
Although Regency architecture can be traced back to 19th-century England, most U.S. residents are probably more familiar with the terms Georgian or Neo-Classical. Known for their palatial ceilings, ornate moldings, and spacious shared living areas, these larger homes tend to strike the right balance between comfort and opulence, which likely accounts for their timeless appeal. On average, Regency homeowners stay in their home for 11 years—a far cry from the six years bungalow lovers stay stationary.
While a “forever” home will look a little different for everyone, the spaces that stick around tend to be ones that can meet their owners at every stage of life. A split-level home, for instance, might be an easy choice for a young couple, but once little ones enter the picture the stairs may prove to be a hassle. Likewise, the turnover for Cape Cods—the style with the shortest longevity—is a lot faster because people tend to view them as vacation homes. And when your annual summer plans no longer include a seaside detox, it’s time to move house.
Want to be sure you’re putting roots down in the right place? Err on the side of caution when you’re house hunting by tacking on a five-year, 10-year, and 20-year goal list to your agenda. Even if you only have a rough idea of where you see yourself in the future, it will help you narrow down what you want to get out of a home.
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