What would you do to buy a home? [survey]

What would you do to buy a home? [survey]

Key takeaways:

  • Homeownership is most important to Gen Zers according to survey results
  • Over half of people would give up alcohol for a year to become a homeowner
  • Nearly 6 in 10 people would rather own their dream home over having kids

Key Takeaways

  • Homeownership is most important to Gen Zers according to survey results
  • Over half of people would give up alcohol for a year to become a homeowner
  • Nearly 6 in 10 people would rather own their dream home over having kids

Family, friends, wellness, love … all things that most people would consider to be essential aspects of life. While these all play major roles, some people would give them up for the opportunity to become a homeowner. To find out more, we surveyed 1,019 people who don’t currently own a home and asked them what kind of sacrifices they would make in order to get to that point.

We’ll first paint the picture of how invested respondents are in their homebuying process and then transition to the deeper questions – just how far are people willing to go for their dream home? What specifically do they value when they envision the kind of place they want to settle into? Read on to find out!

One of these days

To begin our study, we wanted to know just how important homeownership is?


Most people really want to own a home at some point in their life – 33.4% said it’s a very important milestone for them, and 38.4% went as far to say it carries extreme importance. Out of all the generations, Gen Zers felt the strongest about one day becoming homeowners. Also, almost 84% of them said that owning a home is a major component of the “American dream,” which is all about achieving success through sacrifice, hard work and taking well-calculated risks.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents were currently looking for a home, but it was Gen Zers who were the most confident that they’d buy a home one day, with only 2.2% thinking otherwise. Although homeownership rates in the U.S. declined from 2004 to 2016, they’ve been increasing ever since, which is an encouraging sign for eager homeowners-to-be. The most common time frame in which people expected to become a homeowner was within the next three years, although answers varied from within six months to over five years from our initial query.


While the data shows that millennials and Gen Zers are both likely to buy homes in the near future, millennials were much more inclined to do so in a shorter space of time. More than 60% of millennials had plans to purchase a home within the next three years, compared to 46% of Gen Zers. 

This, I can do without

Let’s find out what people are willing to forgo in order to make their dreams a reality that much sooner.  what-would-you-give-up-to-own-home

Eighty-five percent of respondents said they would be willing to make some sacrifices in order to fulfill their dream of owning a home. Over half of them would agree to stop drinking alcohol and not take a vacation for a full year if it meant owning a home at the end of the 365 days. The farther down the list, the more drastic the sacrifices became. For example, a handful of respondents would give up their pets, seeing family and even their relationship for a whole year if it meant becoming a homeowner.

It seems that people would go to drastic lengths to own a home, but what’s all the fuss really about? Well, being a homeowner definitely comes with its advantages. The big one is tax benefits, specifically in the form of deductions. Also, houses appreciate over time, allowing for a profit when you eventually decide to sell; and owning a home builds credit, providing a significant boost to your credit score.

Generational sacrifices

When analyzing sacrifices by generation, responses were fairly similar across the board.  what-generations-would-sacrifice-for-home

Generally, though, it seems as if Gen Zers would be more willing to give up perks than millennials and Gen Xers would. Noticeably, they would happily shy away from cryptocurrency investments for a year in the pursuit of becoming homeowners. A recent study showed that both millennials and Gen Xers own more cryptocurrency than Gen Zers anyway, making it an easy sacrifice for many of our young surveyees.

Gen Z would also be much more willing than other generations to give up meat for a year to acquire homeowner status. Another study’s results showed that the majority of surveyed Gen Zers were interested in a more “plant-forward” diet, and even more were currently eating meatless meals once or twice a week or planned to in the future.

Clearly, youngsters are more open to being flexible about their sacrifices, whether it be finance, food or nearly all other categories that were evalwwwed.

Dream home wins

For the next part of our study, respondents were asked a set of “would you rather?” questions, in which they compared having their dream house to other major life events.


Out of the six questions posed, respondents favored their dream home every time. They would be especially quick to give up their dream wedding, with over 82% opting for the house instead. Many would also give up having kids, the option to retire next year and being guaranteed at least 10% stock returns for life with relative ease, too.

Although people were much more on the fence about foregoing their dream job, dream partner and guaranteed job security, owning their dream home was still priority No. 1 for the majority of them. While the financial benefits of homeownership have been touched upon, buying property offers more perks than just that. People are responsible for putting the “dream” into their dream home. While you are limited with what you can do in a rented space, homeowners have total freedom as to what they can do inside their own place, from repainting all the way to complete renovation. Clearly, these creative liberties are quite important to our surveyees.

This or that?

We posed another set of “would you rather?” questions to try and understand what future homeowners felt was more important when considering certain aspects of their ideal home.


The most one-sided response given was when respondents were asked if they’d rather have a completely open floor plan or have all their rooms be too small – well over three-quarters would prefer the open concept instead of cramped rooms. Perhaps it was a no-brainer for people to prefer better traffic flow in their homes, improved sociability and layout flexibility; but 21.6% might not have been crazy about the lack of privacy.

The next big discrepancy in responses was seen when over 70% of respondents said they would rather purchase a home that needed to be fixed up for a great price, instead of overpaying for a turnkey home (which would have already been renovated and repaired). Two-thirds of respondents would also prefer living in an imperfect home in an area they love versus a dream home in an area they aren’t crazy about. A similar number also said they would happily get financial assistance from their parents – on their terms – to finance a house versus simply never buying one.

The most evenly distributed responses were in regard to choosing between having too few bathrooms or too few bedrooms. In the end, though, more than half of respondents would prefer to deal with fewer bedrooms than have to argue over whose turn it is in the bathroom. 

My house, my rules

The majority of surveyees placed a major importance on homeownership, and most think that they’ll end up owning one at some point down the road. Over half would also make some pretty significant sacrifices, like giving up alcohol and traveling for a whole year; while more intense respondents would go as far as giving up contact with their loved ones if it meant becoming a homeowner. By generation, most of the responses were consistent, but Gen Z was, on average, more open to making sacrifices than older people were.

People were then asked two tough sets of questions, one evalwwwing how important their dream home is compared to other aspects of their life, and the other involving tough decisions regarding different aspects of their ideal home setup. The majority of respondents unanimously agreed that their dream home was more important than anything else that it was compared to. 

The freedom to make it your own is really what differentiates a home from a house, and people would go great lengths to have that power. Creating your dream home is one thing, but maintaining it is another. At Cinch Home Services, we offer the most comprehensive home protection plans to effectively tackle all your home repair and preservation needs. Dream homes require dream care – come get the protection you deserve.


We surveyed 1,019 people who don’t currently own a home to see how important homeownership is to them and what they’d be willing to sacrifice to own one. Respondents were 49.7% women, 48.4% men and 1.9% nonbinary. One respondent chose not to disclose their gender. The average age of respondents was 34. 

Respondents were asked what things they would be willing to give up for one year in order to become a homeowner. This was asked as a select-all-that-apply question. Therefore, percentages won’t add to 100. 


The data we are presenting rely on self-report. There are many issues with self-reported data. These issues include, but are not limited to, the following: selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and exaggeration.

Fair use statement

If you currently own a home, did you need to make sacrifices to achieve homeowner status? If you don’t own one yet, what would you give up to get it? Feel free to pose these same questions to your friends and family by sharing this article with them. We just ask that you do so for noncommercial use only and to provide a link back to the original page so the contributors can earn credit for their work.

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