As a melting pot, America is shaped by the beliefs, customs and cultures of its diverse population.
Last week, Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate released the results of their latest survey, looking at whether individuals from different backgrounds hold the same vision and attitude when it comes to setting forth and achieving the American Dream of home ownership.
A national survey of the three largest American population groups, with an equal distribution among 400 Caucasians, 400 African Americans and 400 Hispanic Americans ages 18 and older, the results indicate that all three ethnic groups are far more alike than different when it comes to many of the perceptions and behaviors surrounding the home buying process. However, when it comes to considering family ties and origins when buying a home, there are key differences among ethnicities.
“America has a proud heritage of diversity, and the notion that our client base will continue to change and evolve should be apparent to everyone in the real estate industry,” Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC, said. “It’s important that we understand all that we can about our consumers to best serve them, and that includes understanding them not only from a cultural standpoint, but with regard for their individual values, aspirations and needs.”
Key findings from the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate survey include:
We’ve Got High Hopes: All groups surveyed are optimistic about the next generation of homeowners. The majority believe their children or future children will have a home of their own before the age they did (Hispanic 78 percent; African American 74 percent; Caucasian 56 percent) and homeowners believe that their children’s homes will be the same size or bigger than theirs (Hispanic 90 percent; African American 83 percent; Caucasian 73 percent). Each group surveyed views home ownership as an overarching lifelong goal. In fact, home ownership is considered to be the biggest indicator of status by all groups: African Americans (78 percent), Hispanics (78 percent) and Caucasians (65 percent).
Each of the groups surveyed believe that a home is not simply an indicator of success; it is a long-term investment and a wise one at that. More than any other group, Hispanics are planning ahead for home ownership and prioritizing this dream over retirement. More than half of the Hispanics (52 percent) surveyed, who do not currently own their own home, say they are focused on saving for a down payment as compared to 46 percent of African Americans and 44 percent of Caucasians who do not own their own home.
“The White Picket Fence” Prevails: Of course, cities have their unique allure, but when it comes down to determining where to live for the long haul, the majority of individuals from every ethnicity surveyed lean largely toward the suburbs. Research indicates that suburban homes are very much in demand among today’s house hunters. Among those surveyed, 59 percent of African Americans, 55 percent of Caucasians and 50 percent of Hispanic Americans would select the suburbs as the preferred location for their ideal home.
Love Thy Neighbor(hood): When asked to choose between living in their dream home in a neighborhood they are not fond of, or residing in their dream locale in a home they don’t love, each of the three groups was split almost equally down the middle. A slight majority of respondents (56 percent Caucasian; 50 percent African American; 50 percent Hispanic) said they would rather live in the neighborhood of their dreams, even if they are not head over heels for their house.
Home Is Where You Started: Many homeowners want to live close to where they grew up when purchasing their dream house. But, how close is “close?” For a majority of Hispanics (56 percent) and African Americans (53 percent), this means staying within the same state one grew up in. Caucasians (56 percent), however, prefer to remain in the same broad region of the country where they grew up. In fact, 1 in 3 Hispanics prefer that their ideal home is located within the town they grew up in, while only 20 percent of Caucasians share the same sentiment.
We’re Going to Need a Bigger House: While it’s apparent that living near family is important, there appears to be a significant amount of cohabitation among family members. Findings indicate the multi-generational American home is proliferating. In fact, it is likely to occur in all ethnic groups surveyed. Results show that 63 percent of Hispanics and 59 percent of African Americans will likely have their parents, grandparents, or other extended family members living with them at some point. Only 43 percent of Caucasians share these sentiments.
House hunting has also been impacted by the increasing likelihood of multi-generational family units. According to survey results, 89 percent of African Americans, 89 percent of Hispanics and 88 percent of Caucasians who anticipate such living arrangements would look for features that could accommodate additional family members such as separate “in-law” quarters.
For more information, visit BHGRealEstate.com.