‘Simple-sizing’ Might Be the Most 2023 Home Buying Trend Ever

What comes to mind when you think about your dream home? A stately brownstone in Park Slope? Central Park penthouse? (In The Plaza, of course.) Secluded Vermont cabin? Beachfront condo on the Big Island? It’s all fun and games...until you see the eye-popping price tag. Compound that with inflation and the are-we-aren't-we in a recession debate, and suddenly, the dream home is looking a lot less attainable. Given those realities, it might not be so surprising to hear that Americans’ definition of the dream home has evolved over the years, according to a recent survey at Opendoor. The latest trend, stuffed between the modern farmhouse, luxe laundry room and ‘70s-style living room is the idea of “simple-sizing.”  Here’s what that means.

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What is Simple-Sizing?

As the term suggests, simple-sizing refers to people’s inclination for simplicity and contentedness in their day-to-day. Survey results show that 87 percent of those polled rated “simple living” as a priority, while a third shared that they have taken intentional steps towards doing so. “Most agree they want to focus on what’s necessary versus what’s ‘nice to have,’ simple-sizing their lives by deprioritizing clutter and excess,” the report states.

When asked about what makes an “ideal life,” people responded by prioritizing a healthy lifestyle at number one, followed by time with loved ones, time for themselves, and being environmentally conscious. The lowest priority? Making a lot of money. With the move to uncomplicate many areas of life, how does this affect how we’ve perceived the dream home?

How Simple-Sizing Is Shifting the Idea of the Dream Home

If the dream home used to resemble something like Beverly Hills, 90210, it’s now more like Tiny House Nation. “Americans now are desiring smaller sizes and simpler style/design,” the survey says. “Other common requests for a dream home include location preferences and a strong desire for a quiet place farther away from businesses and other people.”

So where are people flocking to find this new dream home? According to Opendoor broker Jennifer Patchen, Texas takes the cake. The cities of Cypress, Katy, Forney, Aubrey, San Antonio and Leander all appear in the top ten most popular zip codes, according to the company’s data. Other cities of note: Clarksville, Tennessee; Yukon, Oklahoma; Summerville, South Carolina and Parker, Colorado. And the math adds up, too. If the “dream home” used to be in a coastal city like Los Angeles, buyers would expect to pay somewhere north of $875,000. But choose, say, a Texas city on the coast, and you might find a median list price of $350,000—over 50 percent less.

“These neighborhoods are on the rise thanks to their spacious living and small-town vibes, among other factors,” Patchen explains. “Many of these zip codes are close to major cities—but not right in the center of the action. This tells us that homeowners are looking for neighborhoods and communities with developed amenities but are further outside of heavily populous areas where they can also achieve a more relaxed and peaceful lifestyle.”

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