Most Consumers Unhappy With Their Current Neighborhood

70% of adults would rather live in a different location
Aerial view of a neighborhood

If finding your dream home is still on your bucket list, you’re not alone. Most consumers would trade their current digs for a more ideal neighborhood.

To determine which types of neighborhoods consumers most valued, home improvement platform ImproveNet polled 2,210 adults between the ages of 18 and 76. Respondents represented different types of regions including cities, suburban areas right outside of a city, and exurbs ⁠— those locations even farther out.

Regardless of where respondents lived, the majority ⁠— 70% ⁠— said they don’t currently live in their dream neighborhood, the study found. While those who make more money are more likely to live in their desired location, money doesn’t necessarily translate into ideal living arrangements. Less than half ⁠— 44% ⁠— of those making more than $100,000 per year said they are living in the neighborhood they want to live in. Furthermore, only 27% of those making less than $50,000 annually said they are living in their dream neighborhood.

Desired neighborhoods aren’t that far away

Many respondents don’t have to go far to get to their ideal location. Thirty percent said their dream neighborhood is in a different town in a similar part of the state, 20% said it is 3-10 miles away and 5% said their dream neighborhood is less than 2 miles away. Approximately 27% of respondents would have to move to a different part of the state or to a neighboring state and 18% would have to move cross country or outside of the United States to reach their dream location.

A majority of respondents also preferred suburbs to the city. When asked about the ideal setting for their dream neighborhood:

  • 33% preferred a quiet suburb near a city
  • 25% said they wanted to live in a quiet part of a big city
  • 24% reported a bustling suburb near a city
  • 10% voiced a preference for a very quiet exurb, far from a city
  • 8% would choose a bustling part of a big city

Naturally, a neighborhood’s features play a role in whether a resident is satisfied. Most survey respondents were most concerned with their ideal neighborhood having practical features. The five most popular features respondents expected to see in their ideal neighborhood were grocery stores, ample parking, a strong public school system, fine dining restaurants and fast casual restaurants. Respondents were least concerned that an ideal neighborhood have places of worship, theatres and shopping malls.

Commuting also was a concern for respondents, with the ideal commute time being 14 minutes. The longest commute respondents would put up with in order for a neighborhood to be an ideal location is 28 minutes.

The first house you buy doesn’t have to be your last. In fact, many people purchase starter homes to get into the real estate market and later move up to a house in a better neighborhood or one that is better suited to their needs.

If you’re thinking about moving to a different house, consider the best time to sell your current home to get the greatest profit. If you’re trying to locate a house in a particular neighborhood, make sure you identify a real estate agent who knows that neighborhood and can help you get the best deal for your money.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.

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