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Survey: This is What a Dream Home Looks Like Across the U.S.

Featured image for every state’s dream home survey

What does your dream home look like? Is it a sprawling suburban haven with a wrap-around porch, a sleek urban penthouse with cutting-edge design, or a cozy countryside retreat nestled in nature?

In a world where our homes have become more central to our lives than ever, understanding what a dream home looks like offers insights into what we value most in our personal spaces. From preferred locations and architectural styles to must-have features and amenities, our latest survey set out to capture the dream home in every U.S. state.

But dreaming about your ideal home isn’t just about aesthetics and comfort. It’s also essential to consider practical matters like home insurance. Factors such as location, architectural features like pools, and other amenities can impact your home insurance premiums. So, as we delve into what Americans dream about when they think of home sweet home, we’ll also briefly explore how these features can affect your insurance coverage and costs. 

Whether you’re in the market for a new home, daydreaming about future possibilities, or just curious about the latest trends, let’s take a peek into the diverse visions of home across the nation.

32 States’ Majority Seek Dream Homes Beyond Their Borders

Location, Location, Location

When thinking about the perfect place for a dream home, Americans have clear favorites. First, we wanted to know where they prefer to set up their ideal home. 

18 states lean towards the suburbs as the top choice for a dream home. It’s the mix of convenience, community feel, and quieter living that attracts people. States like Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania prefer suburban life.

For many, the dream is about having space and quiet, which is why the countryside or rural areas come in as a popular option. Alabama and Arkansas, for example, show a significant number of people dreaming of homes with big yards and peaceful surroundings.

City living still holds its charm in certain states, with New York being the prime example. The idea of an urban penthouse in a bustling city appeals to those who love being in the middle of everything that’s happening.

Interestingly, some states like Missouri show a preference for coastal living. This unexpected finding suggests that the dream of being near the water is widespread, even in places not typically known for coastal life.

When it comes to home insurance, location matters. Suburban homes typically enjoy lower premiums thanks to lower crime rates and nearby emergency services. Conversely, rural homes may face higher premiums due to risks like wildfires or limited emergency access. Coastal homes also tend to have higher premiums due to the increased likelihood of hurricanes or flooding.

Beauty In the Eye of the Beholder

Once you’ve determined a location to settle down, you must decide your design aesthetic. 

Nationally, contemporary and modern designs take the lead, winning 17 states. These styles, known for their clean lines and open spaces, are favorites for their blend of comfort and modern aesthetics. They’re particularly popular in states like California, where innovation and style go hand in hand.

Mid-century modern homes are the top choice in Arizona, reflecting a love for retro vibes and timeless design. In contrast, craftsman homes, known for their detailed woodwork and cozy feel, are the dream in Arkansas, showcasing a preference for classic American architecture. 

While modern homes are in, traditional styles like farmhouse, victorian, and ranch also have their fans in four combined states across the country. 

Adding Exterior Flair

No dream home is complete without an extra touch, and for many, that comes in the form of an exterior feature that sets their property apart from others on the street. 

The wrap-around front porch is a nationwide favorite, showing a strong preference for outdoor spaces that offer both charm and a place to relax. This feature commonly associated with Southern living is popular from coast to coast, in places like Maine, Kentucky, Illinois, and several others. 

Swimming pools are the top pick in warm states like Florida and California, where the weather invites outdoor living year-round. Similarly, patios and decks are sought after for their ability to extend living spaces outdoors, making them ideal for gatherings or quiet evenings at home.

In states that value privacy and nature — Maryland, Oregon, and Colorado — large gardens and green spaces are highly desired. These add-ons provide a private oasis and a connection to nature, making them a perfect fit for those who dream of a green retreat.

In every case, these sought-after exterior enhancements seamlessly blend functionality with aesthetics. Whether for entertaining guests, unwinding in solitude, or simply enhancing curb appeal, these features play an integral role in bringing the dream home vision to life. 

And while adding such features can undoubtedly enhance the enjoyment of your home, it’s smart to consider how they might impact your home insurance rates. Swimming pools, for instance, could increase liability risks, while additional structures like patios or decks might affect coverage limits. Consulting with your insurance provider can help ensure that your dream home additions are not only aesthetically pleasing but also financially wise in the long run.

Envisioning America’s Ultimate Dream Home

infographic highlighting statistics about America’s dream home

Zooming out, we next wanted to evaluate trends in dream homes on a national level. 

Aside from the contemporary suburban oasis, color plays a significant role in the dream home vision, with 42% favoring earthy tones and 26% opting for neutral tones. The structure of the dream home is predominantly two stories, as preferred by over half (52%) of respondents. 

The dream home is not just about the structure but also about the features that make it special. According to our survey, a dream home typically has four bedrooms (41%) and features like basements (15%), a chef’s kitchen (15%), and a home gym/fitness room (14%).

Budget-wise, the largest portion of Americans see their dream home priced between $500,000 – $1,000,000 (30%). The defining features of a dream home highlight a blend of comfort, location, and lifestyle, with comfort-focused amenities ranking at the top, followed by proximity to work or schools, and ample space for family. Outdoor features, modern technologies, hobby spaces, unique design, expansive land, and pet-friendly areas also play crucial roles in shaping the ideal home.

Location preferences show a clear trend, with 49% of respondents looking outside their current state for their dream home, while 39% would stay put, and 14% envision their dream home beyond U.S. borders. Nebraska residents are the most likely to want to leave their state, while Californians are the most loyal, saying their dream home would be in their current state. 

Closing Thoughts

This study sought to uncover what Americans envision as their perfect home, including preferences for location, style, and features that make a house a dream home. The findings underscore a diversity of aspirations yet a common thread of seeking comfort, functionality, and a touch of personal flair in the places we live.

As homeowners contemplate adding to or remodeling their properties to align with their dream home visions, it’s crucial to recognize how such changes can impact insurance coverage and premiums. Major updates can raise rebuilding costs, requiring increased insurance protection. Regularly reassessing coverage ensures it aligns with your home’s value and features. Factors like location, property value, and unique features also influence insurance needs and premiums. Consulting with an insurance professional offers valuable guidance in navigating these considerations.

Assurance IQ recognizes that a dream home goes beyond bricks and mortar — it’s about creating a space that reflects our best lives, safeguarded against uncertainties. As you map out your path to your dream home, remember that Assurance IQ is here to help protect your haven; explore our home insurance solutions today.


Our study set out to understand the American dream home by gathering data on preferences on location, style, size, color scheme, and essential amenities. We conducted a survey in January 2024, collecting responses from a total of 2,188 participants. Due to an insufficient number of survey responses, Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, D.C., and Wyoming were not included in our analysis.

Participants were asked a series of questions about their ideal home’s location, architectural style, preferred color scheme, size, and key interior and exterior amenities. We also explored the importance of various home features and the expected cost of these dream homes. This approach provides a snapshot of desired home characteristics, reflecting personal tastes, practical needs, and financial considerations.