Home, Improved Or Just Fantasized

When Americans picture the perfect home, what does it look like? In a survey of homeowners by Parade, a plurality (29 percent) picked the ranch house as their ideal style. Colonial (14 percent), log cabin (13 percent)and Victorian (13 percent) were closely bunched, trailed by Cape Cod (7 percent) and Tudor (5 percent). As for the ideal view to have from their windows, water (whether salt or fresh) had more partisans than trees (see the chart). The house they’ve already got has been an increasing asset for most homeowners, with just an unlucky 3 percent saying it has declined in value since they bought it. Over one-fourth said their home has risen in value by 50 percent or more. Often, the gains reflect investments owners have made in upgrading the place. Among the projects homeowners have undertaken during the past two years: painting a room (48 percent), buying new kitchen appliances (31 percent), remodeling a bathroom (26 percent), replacing windows (20 percent), remodeling the kitchen (17 percent) and adding a patio or a deck (15 percent).