NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Americans all want homes with big yards, good schools, nearby public transportation and short commutes to their jobs, right? Wrong, a poll of more than 10,000 consumers has found.
"The main takeaway from our study is that there's no one ideal. The ideal varies depending on which person you're talking to," says Louise Keely of the Demand Institute, which conducted the survey to gauge where Americans want to move and why.
The institute, a nonprofit think tank run by the Conference Board and Nielsen, polled consumers about how important they consider some 50 different characteristics involved in home-buying decisions.
Keely says the responses show that conventional wisdom about what Americans want in housing is often wrong.
For example, many people assume that homes within walking distance of subway stations or other public-transportation hubs command more money.
But the Demand Institute found that just 25% of survey respondents listed proximity to public transit as a "very important" amenity in deciding what home to buy. Almost twice as many — 44% — rated it as "not important" at all.
Similarly, Americans often view good public schools as the No. 1 factor in local property values. But just 34% of those polled graded schools as very important vs. 40% who ranked quality schools as unimportant to them.
Proximity to your place of work isn't key to consumers, either. Only 32% of survey respondents rated that as a very important characteristic in home-buying decisions, while 36% dismissed it as not important for them.