Data driven research, resources, and insights on home ownership

In the U.S., there are nearly 129 million households and counting. After growing up in one of those homes, it then becomes time to find and possibly buy your own. But how? Starting the home search can be intimidating, and obtaining a mortgage and finding insurance even more so. Many people, however, have been through the process and can now serve as guides. Fortunately, we were able to ask 998 of them to share their homebuying wisdom (or mistakes). If you've purchased a home or are thinking of doing so one day, you'll want to read what these people had to say. Read more
Home security cameras are hot technology: By 2023, experts estimate that sales of these devices and associated services will reach $9.7 billion. As these cameras pervade American neighborhoods, they are creating new opportunities to prevent and prosecute crimes. In recent years, police departments around the country have used surveillance footage provided by citizens to solve high-profile cases. Moreover, these gadgets offer valuable protection in the era of e-commerce, helping homeowners defend their packages from "porch pirates." Read more
Living with a romantic partner has many advantages: You have someone to share meals with, it's cost-effective, and domestic responsibilities are (hopefully) divided. But once you commit, most things aren't, well, private anymore. When you cohabitate, it becomes more difficult to keep secrets, even if those secrets are just french fries from McDonald's. To understand why people keep food hidden in their relationships, we surveyed 625 people living with their partners. Read on as we examine their reasons and learn where they hide the edible contraband. Read more
Despite the challenges and sacrifices of being a parent, raising children has plenty of advantages. In addition to the love and important life lessons that come with caring for another human, research suggests you may even live longer when you have children. Similarly, pets can provide unconditional companionship, opportunities for exercise, and a major buffer against stress. Not to mention all of the cute photo opportunities you'll capture along the way. Read more
If you thought the neighborhood watch was just slang for your mother's group of vigilant friends, think again. It's a crime-stopping, safety-encouraging group of citizens who care about the health and vibrancy of their local communities. In all likelihood, the neighborhood watch has contributed to your safety and the safety of those around you. What do you think of your neighborhood watch? Do you feel it's keeping you safe? What about compared to local law enforcement? And which crimes are these citizens actually able to stop? We surveyed over 1,000 Americans, many of who were actively involved in their local neighborhood watches, to help paint a true picture of these organized groups. Continue reading to see what we found. Read more
When you're purchasing a home, signing on the dotted line can be one of the most exciting moments of your life. With images of cozily decorated rooms, conversation-worthy art, and candlelit dinner parties swirling around your mind, it's all too easy to push an entirely different set of images into the background. Said images include busted pipes, hail-pelted windows, and roofs crushed under the weight of a fallen tree. For these reasons and more, around 85 percent of American homeowners have chosen to purchase an insurance policy for their home—a wise choice given the range of liabilities and risks you take on when you own property. Read more
When searching for a place to live, there are many factors to consider. Does it have central air and heating? Is it near top-rated schools? Are there grocery stores within walking distance? On a greater level, do the qualities of the property make you feel at home? These considerations and priorities dictate which properties become the most attractive options to satisfy our desires in a home, as both a renter and a homeowner. Depending on if you rent or own your home, your costs, the relative difficulty of maintenance, and even the overall satisfaction about your living situation can be impacted in varying ways. Read more
By many measures, it's a great time to be in the market for a mortgage. In recent months, home mortgage interest rates have plunged to historic depths, and experts expect them to stay attractively low for the foreseeable future. But while appealing interest rates have sparked periodic surges in home-buying activity, not everyone can take advantage of favorable borrowing conditions. Researchers note that the size of the average mortgage has significantly increased as of late, surpassing the nation's median home value. This trend suggests that wealthy folks are capitalizing on great interest rates to upgrade their homes, whereas Americans of more modest means are struggling to find affordable options. Read more
Spring cleaning doesn't only signal warmer weather. Many use this as an opportunity to clean their homes, and certain areas might be easier to maintain, such as making the bed or taking out the trash. However, dirt and dust find homes in nooks and crannies, and many people avoid those cleaning tasks like the plague. We surveyed 1,000 people about the rooms and areas they were most likely to clean regularly, and which ones they admittedly never got around to cleaning at all. Keep reading to learn more. Read more
It's a tricky and highly technological time for parenting. Although many of today's parents weren't raised with a lot of the technology that exists today, they have to help their children navigate the waters without their own childhood experiences to reference. Moreover, the internet has brought about risks that expose children to dangers that simply didn't exist in the past. So how are parents raising these tech-oriented generations? We surveyed 1,001 parents in the U.S. to find out. We learned when children begin to use technology, as well as how parents are managing to keep them safe. Continue reading to see what we discovered. Read more
When it comes to hired strangers entering a person's home, do we react differently based on the visitor's occupation or purpose? Are we more comfortable with delivery drivers because the interactions are brief compared to those of service or repair workers who may spend hours fixing a leaky pipe? To answer these questions and more, we surveyed almost 1,000 people to gain some insights into how residents prepare for, react to, greet, and interact with scheduled (and unscheduled) delivery, service, and repair people visiting their home. Between regular deliveries and hired help, it's inevitable that you will likely need to answer the door to a stranger. Continue reading to discover how people respond to these visits. Read more
Whether or not you're an animal person, it's hard to deny that most people consider their pets as part of the family. In fact, some owners treat their pets more like children than a furry extension of the immediate family. Pet parents spent an estimated $32.7 billion on food and treats in 2018—with some owners even going so far as to pay for pet day care, pricey tech gadgets, and acupuncture. People definitely love their pets, but how do our four-legged companions feel about us in return? For a closer look at who's the better pet parent, we surveyed over 1,000 people. Keep reading to learn whether men or women think their pets are more attached to them, how often couples argue over pet-related responsibilities, and how many people modify their homes for the sake of their furry family. Read more
Lean back, slip off your shoes, and kick up your feet—but wait, are you home? There may be some things you can do inside your own home that are wildly inappropriate once you've stepped over that threshold. While most people leave their shoes at the door, going barefoot elsewhere—like on an airplane—will likely lead to stares, disgust, and perhaps even a viral video. However, sometimes it's difficult to know where the line is drawn. Is it acceptable to take your shoes off, lie on the couch, and even leave the toilet seat up at a friend's house? What about an Airbnb? We surveyed over 980 people to gauge where people are the most comfortable acting like they're home and which behaviors are off-limits regardless of location. Before you get too comfortable, keep reading to see what's acceptable. Read more
There's a lot to consider when it's time to move. Where does the average American go, and why? Who are they leaving behind, and what are their motivations? Using data representative of the entire U.S. population from the Current Population Survey, we were able to analyze what exactly moves Americans today. Perhaps you're thinking of moving. Maybe you need to relocate due to a job offer or you just want to be closer to your family. Whatever your moving motivations, you'll want to continue reading to see what we found within the data. Read more
Everyone knows there are certain subjects you just don't bring up in conversation, whether it's religion, politics, or marital conflicts. But if there's one thing Americans can agree on, it's that money is the most taboo topic of all. Asking about salary or diving into details about debt is just not a casual conversation anyone wants to be a part of. While there is a time and a place for everything, does the same always apply to money? Which financial questions are appropriate to ask, and who are people most comfortable talking money with? We surveyed over 980 employed people who currently owned or rented their homes to get a better idea about the boundaries of financial discussions. It's time to talk about money—read on to see what people had to say. Read more
Traveling can be stressful. From delayed departures to "what will I do with the dog" questions, the stress of leaving your home for an extended period can often outweigh the benefits of the trip itself. But if there's anything that experienced travelers know, it's that having a reliable housesitter can lessen your anxiety. While it's hard to enjoy your time away if you're afraid of what's happening at your home when you're not there, if you have the right housesitter, you have nothing to worry about. But how many housesitters are actually doing what you hired them for, and how many are misusing your home while you're away? Read more
Between learning homebuying jargon and figuring out debt-to-income ratios, shopping for a home in 2019 can be a challenge, especially for a first-time buyer. For millennials, preparing to purchase their first home can be particularly tough, considering the immense learning curve and the sheer number of properties that seem to be out of reach. And high hopes for homeownership can quickly turn into disappointment if your budget doesn't stretch as far as you'd initially predicted. Read more
It's a fact that home security is rapidly improving with smart surveillance. And this has culminated in technology like the smart doorbell, the next line of defense for homeowners wanting to protect their property and capture suspicious activity. As the name suggests, smart doorbell sensors are placed where a standard doorbell would be. These cameras can capture everything that you see out your front door, including your driveway, front lawn, and, sometimes, your neighbors' properties. These days, there are many choices when it comes to home security, so it's worth considering a smart doorbell as a first step. Read more
Technological advancements have changed the world of home security—with smart doorbells remaining a popular feature and upgrades to standard security cameras giving people an extra pair of eyes. In fact, the home security system market's worth is projected to hit $74.8 billion by 2023, with security cameras expected to comprise nearly $10 billion of it. Considering the expected growth, how many people already have cameras installed in their homes? How often do homeowners check their feeds, and what are the most common things they've revealed? We surveyed 985 people about their experiences and perceptions of security systems. Read on to see what they had to say. Read more
Moving to a new city or town can involve costs that exist far beyond simple finances. For the 40 million Americans who relocate annually, many will be forced to juggle standard moving costs (such as rent, utilities, and security deposit), additional costs (home improvement and grocery store trips), and the stress of the process all at once. As a result, many turn to friends and family to offset the work and costs associated with moving. Figuring out a plan for moving can be time-consuming and hard to manage, so many people ask for help. Due to job changes, family demands, or personal reasons, people often need to relocate—an experience that can be painful for loved ones and the mover's wallet at the same time. Read more
As memorable as it was bizarre, the "Tide Pod Challenge" sent the nation into a frenzy. The media circus that emerged around the trend of filming people eating Tide Pods in the mid-2010s made headlines and revealed a shocking reality: Between 2012 and 2017, injuries related to laundry pods and packet detergents accounted for 73,000 calls to emergency centers around the country. Innocuous products and household items pose some of the largest threats to child safety. With new 2018 insights from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS, a data set that determines estimations for consumer product-related injuries), we discovered fascinating insights about emergency room visits involving the home, such as common dangers and how they change as children age. Read more
Whether you're in the market to buy or sell a home—or both, as is often the case for homeowners on the move—you're left with a simple dilemma: Sell it as-is or do some renovations? For buyers, you might have a similar train of thought: Should you buy a fixer-upper or something that's more turnkey? In most cases, the final decision may come down to dollars and cents. If you can sell your house for top dollar, you may not want to sink any extra capital into the property. Similarly, if you can buy your dream house within budget, why commit your time and energy to taking on unnecessary renovations? Read more
When you're getting married, there are so many exciting changes to look forward to: waking up every day with your spouse, the adventures you'll go on, and the family you'll build with each other. With so much joy in your future, you may have overlooked one potentially grim detail: More time with your significant other almost always means spending more time with their families, too. Read more
Intricate bathroom tile, a bold statement door, exposed shelving in the kitchen, a fully furnished patio. If asked, could you tell which design choices are more likely to help sell your home and which could keep buyers at bay? Just because you've seen something trending on Pinterest—or even on a popular TV show—doesn't mean all features are smart for your home. In fact, overly stylized decor, outdated rooms, and a lack of space could prevent you from getting a return on your investment. Read more
Real estate and housing, in particular, can be a lucrative investment. Single-family homes in the U.S. have nearly doubled in value during the last two decades, despite the Great Recession and mortgage crisis in the late 2000s. And with experts predicting a shift to a buyer's real estate market in 2020, many may consider investing in a new home in the years to come. But before you make any investment, it's important to weigh your options. Is a home really the best place to invest right now?  Read more
When it comes to the best states in the U.S. to live, what criteria would you use? The weather? Job market? Maybe even schools or hospitals? Fewer people are moving for work than ever before, and there are some states where people wouldn't consider living even if you paid them. For a closer look at which states may have earned a bad reputation (and why), we surveyed over 550 people about the least and most desirable locations. Read on to see where in the U.S. $10,000 wouldn't be enough for people to call it home and what makes people love their hometowns. Read more
In an ever-changing digital workplace, the latest concept to be outmoded may be the office itself. ecent research suggests more than 40 percent of workers have worked remotely to some extent, and this telecommuting trend is only likely to intensify. In this project, we set out to explore what working from home is really like. Whether you already work remotely or simply envy those who do, you won't want to miss this true view of working from home... Read more
Natural disasters have long shaped our nation’s history, from the deadly Galveston hurricane of 1900 to the devastating Dust Bowl drought of the ’30s. But for evidence of jaw-dropping costs of environmental tragedies, Americans need to look no further than the 21st century. 2017 was the costliest year on record for major natural disasters; following hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and massive wildfires in California, damages amounted to... Read more
Have you ever planned for a holiday, pored over your travel itinerary, packed all your bags, and then gotten to your destination and realized you needed a vacation from your vacation? Even though getting away from the stress of a typical workweek is supposed to be good for you, traveling can still be stressful. Whether it's keeping up with the activities you planned for yourself or your family or the nagging feeling a boatload of work will be... Read more
Who among us doesn't, on some level, dream of a custom home? A house built just for us, exactly the way we want it. We should all customize our homes if Chip and Joanna Gaines have anything to say about it. But are homebuyers really ready for the trials, tribulations, and time required to turn a fixer-upper into a dream home? Read more
It's easy to tune in to an episode of 'Hoarders' and marvel at the struggle to throw something out. Imagine a junk drawer somehow managing to take over the entire kitchen, or a closet spilling onto the bedroom floor. You might go crazy! While hoarding can be a sign of mental illness, living with less might be harder than it sounds. Experts say minimalism can help save money and make people feel less stressed, but how do you know when it's... Read more
Since 2015, new homes typically occupy 25 percent of the land they're built on, a stark increase over the 14 percent of the land occupied by homes built in 1975. Bigger houses and less lot space mean one thing: smaller yards. So just how important is yard size to homebuyers, and what does the size of your yard say about how much time you or your family spend outside? For an outside look, we surveyed over 980 homeowners about how much they value yard space and the great outdoors. Read on to see how often small lots are deal breakers and how much fresh air families get when they prioritize their yard. Read more
When it comes to using hard-earned vacation days, more Americans are heading for distant shores than ever before. Recent years have seen massive numbers of U.S. citizens traveling abroad, including a record 87.7 million in 2017. But for many hard-working professionals, real relaxation happens on a much more local scale. Our findings revealed how people in each state enjoy their leisure time locally, and which cities offer attractions that... Read more
Debates over smart devices and their involvement in our lives have been the focus of attention in the technology world. Artificial intelligence is already a part of our everyday lives, such as Netflix, Uber, Google Maps, smart thermostats, personal assistants, and more. These apps and services all use new features and developments to complete tasks. How much do we trust these services and devices, and what does the future of... Read more
With the housing market facing new levels of constraint, the demand for new residential construction is starting to heat up seriously. New home starts may have been slightly down by the end of 2017, but homebuilding permits hit their highest level since 2007, pointing to what could become the future of homebuying for millions of Americans. There are plenty of perks when it comes to buying new builds over existing homes, including... Read more
Recently, there's a trend of adult children moving in with their parents after initially flying the nest. While the reasoning may range from unemployment to the cost of living or the overwhelming burden of student loans, many parents have to change the way they think about providing for their children into adulthood. For a more intimate look at this growing trend, we surveyed over 870 people about life with adult children at home. Read on to see... Read more
Despite the ripple effects of the housing market crash still being felt across the country, the rental market in the United States is currently booming: Between 2006 and 2016, the number of households renting their living spaces increased from 31.2 to 36.6 percent, just a touch lower than the number of households that rented out in 1965. In an age of high tenancy and low ownership, we wanted to explore the intricacies of the... Read more
How often have you been eating takeout at home on your couch, thinking about what to watch on Netflix, only to open up a social media application and discover that your friends are out doing something that seems far more exciting? While it's not uncommon to get anxious about the idea of people doing fun things out and about without you, you might be surprised how many of your friends would rather stay in at night instead. To shed a... Read more
Whether you're going on your first date or deciding to move in together, there are plenty of ways to really get to know someone. Spend time talking (and listening) to each other, share some of your most embarrassing moments, or even play icebreaker games like twenty questions. Whatever you do, though, there's one thing most relationship gurus agree is a pretty bad idea: snooping. It may be tempting to look at your partner's cellphone... Read more
With the rise of doggy daycare facilities, pet friendly establishments, and even social media accounts for famous cats, dogs, and everything in between, it's no surprise the advent of the "fur-child" is making mainstream news. But not all pet behaviors are as cute and cuddly as the creatures themselves, and some animal owners could be taking their affection too far. For a closer look at the dirtier side of the pet-obsession, we asked over 1,000... Read more
We surveyed nearly 1,000 participants to see how many homeowners are aware of what it takes to renovate a home successfully. Are younger or new homeowners less savvy than those who are older or more experienced? Do these generational gaps cause differences in how money is spent and handled? Who is more likely to try the DIY approach? Let's... Read more
While millennials have been accused of "killing" the housing market, a majority who do commit to owning a house end up regretting the decision to buy. But are they alone? Buying a house is one of the biggest financial decisions most people will ever make - no matter their age - and it could leave them feeling the worst buyer's remorse of their life. To learn the biggest homebuying regrets, we surveyed over 990 people about the expectations... Read more
Whether it makes sense or not, the names and identifiers of our American communities and housing developments often say more about the people living there than we might realize. In some cases, the way a particular neighborhood is branded can be a direct response to how a community has changed over time, or it can help people feel a sense of connectedness or identity with the area in which they live. Read more
Nearly 36 million Americans move every year, and not all of them are single. Romantic choices must be made to either nurture or end relationships, especially when a partner has a job opportunity away from home. So what if the love of your life were to receive a dream job across the country—would you go with them? What about in a neighboring state? Or even across the world? We asked 700 people for their reaction to certain moving situations, as well as 300 respondents about the choices they ultimately made for their career and love life. Continue reading to see how career moves can impact American romance. Read more
The allure of a better-paying job or a new city may be tempting, but relocating your life (or family) is about so much more than your ZIP code or the state you call home. For a closer look at what it's like to leave the neighborhood you grew up in, we surveyed around 1,000 people about the effects of moving. Read on as we show how long the average millennial stays in the same place, what living arrangements people are most willing to compromise on, and their biggest regrets after settling down. Read more
Ranging in age from 92 (Queen Elizabeth II) to 28 (Taylor Swift), it's clear no two women in the 2017 Forbes "The World's Most Powerful Women" list are the same. There's not one quality that's helped these women climb to the absolute peak of power in their industries, it's worth asking—what qualities do they share that have helped set them apart? Read on for a more intimate look at these leading ladies... Read more
We decided to explore trends in Americans' home cooking habits by studying social media. Analyzing thousands of Instagram posts tagged with #homecooking, we discovered which states and cities chef it up at home—and which rely mainly on takeout instead. We then analyzed these posts using Google's Vision API to find out what users are actually cooking across the country. To see where home cooking is alive and well in... Read more
Are you curious why your favorite sushi restaurant is packed Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm but practically deserted on Tuesday nights? Or why the famous bar that opened a few months ago is empty at 9:30 pm on a Friday night, yet by 11:15, so many people have arrived you could walk from end to end atop everyone's head? The operating hours of restaurants vary as much as their menus. Fine dining establishments may only open after... Read more
When you think of your dream home, you probably don't envision a family already living inside. But when it comes to movies and TV, we may just want to move into a house filled with an entire cast of characters. Which homes from your favorite shows and movies would you pick? And which characters would be the best and worst roommates? Can you recognize some of the most iconic homes in pop culture? These are questions we posed to nearly 1,500 people about iconic homes, from cult classic movies to critically acclaimed TV series. To find out which fictional facades are ingrained most deeply in the American psyche, read on. Read more
From hammers to hacksaws, the tools of home improvement can turn dangerous quickly if misused. For novices and experts alike, a lapse in focus or preparation can have painful consequences—leaving the homeowner hurt and the project half-finished. Still, the risks of home improvement haven't dimmed DIY enthusiasm, with millennials particularly eager to attempt their own upgrades. If you have your heart set on getting handy, you'll need... Read more
While it's true millennials are moving in droves across the U.S., they may be targeting different cities than you think. To take a closer look at their most recent migration patterns, we used 2016 census data to explore the cities and states with the youngest new residents, where millennials make up the largest populations, and the cities turning into hot spots for... Read more
Just a few years ago, experts indicated Americans (especially young Americans) were more interested in a different lifestyle than previous generations. Instead of owning a house in the suburbs, the new American dream consisted of renting an apartment in the city. Recently, though, Americans of all ages have begun to leave major metropolitan areas like New York City and Los Angeles. Over the last five years, population... Read more
In today's world, sayings like 'Children should be seen and not heard' and 'Keep your elbows off the table' may not hold water as modern manners. Still, some of the rules we may have learned from our grandparents (like holding the door for people behind us) might have a place in contemporary society. But which of these manners are still valid and which ones have been put to rest? On the quest to find out, we surveyed over 1,000 people on... Read more
Among American families, stay-at-home parenting has had a quiet resurgence in recent years. Although female workforce participation climbed steadily during the 20th century, the last two decades have seen more moms choose full-time child care. Additionally, more fathers are foregoing careers to assume caregiving duties —and choosing this path willingly, not because they cant find work... Read more
When it comes to hurricane safety, there are five major weather patterns residents should be prepared for: storm surges, flooding, high winds, rip currents, and tornadoes. And how efficiently people prepare for these storms can sometimes be the difference between life and death. For a more intimate look at hurricane preparedness, we surveyed over 950 people who lived through a hurricane in the last 20 years. Read on as we explore safety during a hurricane, how often people evacuate their homes, and where they find support after the storm. Read more
It's a familiar failure-to-launch narrative: Millennials are more likely than earlier generations to live at home, clinging to comforts provided by their parents. But before dismissing a whole generation as lacking in independence, consider the economic factors contributing to this trend. Between staggering student loans and skyrocketing housing costs, young adults today face plenty of barriers to affording their own living arrangements. Moreover, the vast... Read more
In the beginning of a relationship, you might take extra care to make yourself look good before each date, try to avoid any embarrassing behaviors, and not bring up any uncomfortable conversations. So when is it finally OK to go to the bathroom with the door open? Or skip a shaving session (or four)? To find out, we surveyed over 1,000 people about their relationship timelines and when these potentially embarrassing behaviors became... Read more
For casual cooks and experienced chefs alike, the kitchen presents more hazards than imagined. Sure, there's the occasional eye-catching headline declaring culinary danger: Avocado-related injuries are on the rise, and turkey fryers are Thanksgiving's deadliest tradition. But even the modest meals we prepare each day can put us in peril. Consider the risks you readily accept in the kitchen but would refuse to put up with elsewhere... Read more
As many of the real estate industry's basic assumptions seem increasingly outdated, which trends define current home buying activity? Do millennial buyers behave differently than Gen Xers or baby boomers? Relative to decades past, is gaining a foothold in the real estate market more difficult today? To study these questions and many others, we analyzed data from the 2017 American Housing Survey, a comprehensive federal study... Read more
There's been no shortage of reports focused on the various ways millennials are ruining the housing market. We explore census data on housing over the last decade to understand if (and where) homeownership is declining. However, painting millennials as the culprit may not tell the entire story. Read on as we determine which states rank highest and lowest for homeownership, the role income plays when deciding to buy a home, and how much more it costs the average family to rent rather than own in every state. Read more
By many measures, America's blue-collar workers are confronting a challenging present and uncertain future. The twin threats of outsourcing and automation show few signs of slowing, causing some pundits to question whether the American dream remains attainable for working-class families. However, research suggests the outlook for white-collar professionals may also be less than rosy. Whereas blue-collar workers... Read more
How much are people really willing to pay for standard household amenities? Walk-in closets and swimming pools are nice, but are they considered essential? We asked over 1,000 people about the amenities that were non-negotiable and how much they would pay to have easy access to things like stainless steel appliances and centralized air conditioning. Continue reading to see what we learned about turning a house into a home... Read more
From 'House Hunters' to 'Property Brothers' and 'Fixer Upper,' we enjoy watching other people shop for their dream homes, decide what (and how) to renovate older houses, and splurge on beachfront properties. Whether it's loving it, listing it, or completely redesigning it, millions of people tune in every night to watch home improvement shows. Do most people prefer trendy designs and a contemporary aesthetics in their real-life homes... Read more
From fantasy football to award show pools, there's just something about lining up a dream team that never gets old. So what do you get when you combine this natural fascination with a love for home makeover shows? You get a fierce competition. From HGTV stars to celebrities in the entertainment industry, we asked around 1,000 people to tell us whom they would bring on board to make their dream home a reality. Grab your shiplap and dive on in! Read more
Who said they'd never buy homes? Although millennials have historically been hesitant about homeownership, they now represent the largest segment of American homebuyers, accounting for more than a third of new property purchases. As a result, their preferences are transforming the real estate business. After years stuck in the rental market, millennials are proving pickier than their parents and skipping starter homes entirely... Read more
America's housing crisis stems from several concerning developments: Low-cost properties are in increasingly short supply, city rents and home prices are skyrocketing, and funding for government housing programs is scarce. And due to a lack of affordable alternatives, many families reside in homes so dilapidated that they pose serious risks to their inhabitants. Experts regard housing quality as a powerful determinant of health... Read more
By now, you probably dont need anyone telling you smoking cigarettes is bad for your health. With the U.S. implementing 'no smoking' laws, running mass media campaigns designed to educate people on the dangers of cigarettes, and increasing access to quitting helplines and solutions, the number of adults who still smoke regularly has declined dramatically in recent years. But it hasn't stopped everyone, and there's more than... Read more
For most people, their home is their sanctuary. It's a place to feel safe, secure, and totally at ease; its four walls shelter its owners from the hustle, bustle, and, occasionally, the dangers of the outside world. We love that feeling of protection so much, in fact, that the value of the global home security market is expected to skyrocket to $47.75 billion by 2023.We surveyed urban, suburban, and rural Americans across three generations to learn how serious they take their home security. Continue reading to see what we learned. Read more
For most homebuyers, a full property inspection is an essential precaution: When committing to such a massive investment, doing your due diligence can really pay off. If an inspector uncovers unseen issues, buyers can avoid expensive surprises - and bargain down the price to reflect the work required. Yet, some home shoppers are tempted to skip this step, wary of another expense in the homebuying process. An experienced inspector can charge hundreds of dollars, so how often do their findings justify the costs? In retrospect, how many homeowners regret paying for inspections? To examine these questions, we surveyed about 1,000 individuals who hired inspectors when buying their homes. If you've ever wondered if home inspections are worth it, you won't want to miss what we found out. Read more
Experts say the best way to tackle these unexpected repairs and renovations is with a monthly maintenance budget, the rule of thumb being 1% of the home's value, but how much should you really put away? To find out, we surveyed over 1,000 homeowners about how often they conducted major home repairs and how much they had to spend. Read on as we break down the most expensive cities for home repairs and the most requested services in 2018... Read more
One of the most fulfilling feelings is turning a house into a home - and a family home becomes the hot spot where so many memories are made. So how do you cope when your once happy home is filled with heartbreak? We asked 501 people in the U.S., from ages 22 to 77, how they dealt with their divorce, who kept the marital home, and how they transitioned into a new chapter of life. Keep reading to see how divorced respondents are... Read more
Buying a home is a major undertaking, involving multiple layers of decision-making. And when a spouse or partner is added to the mix, their desires and needs must also be considered. we surveyed 910 people who are currently in a relationship or married and living together to determine which home factors matter the most (or least) for couples' overall satisfaction... Read more
While some people love that their HOA mows the lawn, manages neighborly disputes, organizes social events, and provides desirable amenities, others bemoan their exorbitant fees, poor management, and their long list of rules. An HOA community can be an oasis to some, while others can't wait to move out. We surveyed over 700 people who currently live in an HOA community to learn more about the HOA lifestyle. Read more
Buying a new house can be complicated. Finding the right balance between your budget and desirable location, or a turnkey home and a renovation dream, can feel like winning the lottery for some homeowners. For a look at the hidden costs of selling your home, we surveyed 781 homeowners and 22 real estate experts about the experience. Read on as we break down the average cost of the most popular renovations, how often people get their desired asking price, and how often homeowners take their agents' advice when listing and selling their property. Read more
Forget "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." These days, gurus across the internet claim dozens of routines will put you on the path to fulfillment. In one camp, there are the evangelists of wholesome habits: Get up early, make your bed, and exercise, and you'll inevitably encounter success. Then you have the mindfulness contingent, who says daily meditation will deliver clarity to even the most frazzled capitalists. Other habit-based programs take... Read more
Some people might think that if you're renting instead of buying a home, you could be wasting money. However, while buying a house might not be the right decision for everyone, it's worth noting that renting may not hold the same monthly savings as once assumed. As of 2018, rent prices are increasing faster than in the last two years, with the median cost climbing to $1,445. Rising rent prices could partially be voluntary, though. Among both... Read more
Home renovation shows are all the rage on TV networks like HGTV and DIY, and the home renovation bug has rubbed off on thousands of Americans. Following in the footsteps of Chip and Joanna Gaines and the Property Brothers, homeowners across the U.S. spent an estimated $337 billion on remodeling their homes in 2018, and a majority planned to make some extensive changes to their living spaces. Read on as we break down... Read more
In this project, we determined to gauge how many bacteria may be lurking on various kitchen surfaces. We swabbed three samples from four parts of the typical American kitchen then had bacterial levels tested in a microbiology lab. Our results reveal how many germs may be hiding uncomfortably close to our cooking and the potential dangers of each bacteria we discovered. To see just how many germs could be calling your kitchen... Read more
While Generation Z is saying goodbye to student debt, they're choosing to invest in another life milestone: homeownership. To better understand how Gen Zers view the housing market, we surveyed nearly 1,400 people, broke down our results generationally, and heard personal accounts from Gen Zers themselves. Keep reading to see what we found. Read more
Sitting on the couch watching people tear apart outdated houses and upgrade interiors can make house flipping seem like a piece of cake. But buying a home, renovating on a budget, and quickly selling for a profit is a feat many try but few accomplish. The hidden costs, added stress, and increasing competition aren't always shown in the numerous house flipping TV shows. With house flipping on the rise, it's important to know all the facts before jumping on the... Read more
The advance of the gig economy shows no signs of slowing: According to federal figures, 16.5 million U.S. residents are currently in 'contingent' or 'alternative' employment arrangements, including freelancers and on-demand app workers. Even steady jobs seem primed for disruption. Over 5 percent of Americans now work from home, and some researchers suggest they're more productive than their in-office colleagues. Yet, these evolutions in... Read more
Giving up the commute, working in your pajamas, setting your own schedule, and being your own boss are just a few of the commonly touted benefits of taking what might start out as a side gig and become a primary source of income. But is the grass truly greener on the other side? Read on to discover who's happier, who's making more money, and how many of your co-workers might take the plunge next. Whether it's the stress of... Read more
Americans enjoy eating food more than they do making it: According to recent research, merely 15 percent of consumers love to cook, while 50 percent say they hate it. As a result, the average household spends more than $3,000 a year on dining out, accepting the high costs of convenient cuisine. Throw in the rise of digital delivery across the country, and home cooking starts to seem positively quaint in comparison. If eating has become decidedly... Read more
Call it the age of foodie democracy: Once reserved for the affluent, culinary sophistication has gone fully mainstream. Chalk it up to the proliferation of cooking blogs or review platforms that give everyone a chance to play food critic. Maybe it's social media's deep love of #foodporn or the rise of culinary competition television. Whatever the case may be, our culture seems to be scrutinizing its food more closely than ever, and emotions... Read more
After five seasons of 'Fixer Upper,' over 76 breathtaking home and property reveals, and countless mentions of shiplap and subway tiles, Chip and Joanna Gaines haven't just left their mark on the Waco, Texas, area; they've changed the face of interior home design forever. When it comes to design shows, 'Fixer Upper' isn't just popular among the DIY crowd—it's one of the most-watched cable TV shows across the country. Pulling in millions of... Read more
What do you really need to know to buy a home? First-time homebuyers might say you don't need experience. In fact, one-third of home purchases in recent years were by first-time buyers, and most of these first-timers were younger millennials. But older and more experienced homebuyers may tell you there's a lot to know before buying a home. To find out what you need to know to buy a home, we quizzed homeowners both young and old on their knowledge of the homebuying process. Read more
For most Americans, it's the largest single purchase they will make and most likely their biggest asset. For all the excitement that comes with a first home, the ultimate dream can turn into a nightmare when unforeseen problems surface before the ink on the mortgage papers dries. Those who have been down the long road of purchasing a first home can attest to the dozens of hurdles buyers must clear before the keys are handed over. Read more
There are plenty of things you should do on a first date if you want to make a solid first impression: refrain from talking about yourself too much, make good eye contact, and put your phone down and focus on the person sitting across from you. Of course, there’s one glaring element most people probably don’t think about until it’s too late: their home. If you’re planning on asking a date back to your place for the first time, there’s nothing quite... Read more
Life; sometimes it becomes complicated when older and well-meaning family members attempt to impose their expectations on you. After all, your parents married at 19 but believe you should wait until at least 25 to tie the knot. But have they ever asked what you want? To get a feel for how a younger generation's lifestyle and career goals might differ from those of their elders, we surveyed 915 individuals between the ages of 18 and 81... Read more
Call it the HGTV effect, or blame the viral influence of Pinterest. Young Americans are increasingly interested in home improvement, whatever the reason, and many are taking matters into their own hands. According to one recent survey, millennial homeowners now spend about $26,000 annually for home upgrades each year. And much of that spending is for DIY projects: Retailers have seen an uptick in purchases among... Read more
Short-term rental properties are popping up all over the U.S. Whether you're looking for a quaint home in the Georgia suburbs or a luxurious apartment in downtown New York City, you can search for a location and find numerous matches that fit your style and budget. Sounds perfect, right? For the neighbors of these rental properties, however, maybe not. The idea of short-term neighbors can seem reckless if not downright annoying, so we surveyed 990 people who rented or owned their home regarding their opinions on this booming industry. Continue reading to see their insights. Read more
How often do DIYers make major errors, leading to added expenses, arguments, and long delays? We surveyed more than 1,000 individuals to find out, learning how they fared with a range of home improvements. Our results show how much time errors can add to basic upgrades and the costs associated with correcting these mistakes. We also studied how projects cause spats between significant others and the stress... Read more
Moving is a hassle. From boxing up one home to finding another, facing a move can feel scaling Mount Everest. We took a deeper look at what prompts people to move and what they look for in a new home or neighborhood when they do so. Then, we broke these findings down by gender and generation to see how men and women across the generations shop for a new home. Read on to see what Americans look for when it's time to pull up stakes. Read more
When it comes to upgrades and upkeep, the things you aren't thinking about could be the very ones that could save your life in the event of an emergency. In 2016, there were roughly 352,000 home fires across America resulting in over $5.7 billion in damages and over 2,700 lives lost. Replacing the batteries in your smoke detector or making sure you own (and can locate) a fire extinguisher isn't glamorous, but they could make all the difference... Read more
Buying your first house should be an exciting experience, but shopping around for the best mortgage rate and factoring in your closing costs aren't the only figures you should be thinking about. Buying a house is one thing, but the cost to maintain it is something else. Experts suggest you should start budgeting for home maintenance before deciding which house is the one for you, and common wisdom says homeowners should expect... Read more
From our favorite TV megastar cooking personalities to social media videos about tiny hamburgers that get millions of views, Americans love watching videos about food. There’s only one catch: Most people might not like cooking food as much as they like watching other people cook it. n fact, the popularity of the home-cooked meal isn’t just dwindling, it’s costing the average family thousands of dollars every year. Eating out has become a habit... Read more
Since the late 1800s, the global temperature of Earth has increased by 1 degree Celsius (or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Studies suggest that if we stay on the same emissions path we are on today, the global temperature will increase 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040 and 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. On the surface, those increases may not seem substantial. However, scientists stress that even half a degree can have devastating effects on the planet. Knowing the... Read more
We've all been there. You get home from a long day at work or wake up on a Saturday morning, and the absolute last thing you want to think about is your chore list. Whether you're the kind of person who likes to keep things in a constant state of tidiness or go into overdrive when company comes over, household chores are generally so pesky that you... Read more
Whether you’re dating, engaged, or married, moving in with a significant other is supposed to be an exhilarating experience. You get to start planning for new furniture, decorating, and building your home together. With all of that, then, there’s probably one thing you aren’t thinking about: breaking up and deciding who gets what after the split. Breaking up with a live-in partner can be one of the most stressful experiences couples face. Caught... Read more
The way Americans are settling down continues to change, so where are the best places to meet these new wants? We pulled data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American FactFinder, Yelp, and Zillow to find out which cities are the best for young, growing families. Considering the number of millennials, availability of child care services, and the price of housing, we were able to score and rank American cities and find the most family-friendly. Keep reading to see which city took the top spot. Read more

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