44% of adults say they'd buy their childhood home if they could afford it

A new survey reveals that 44% of Americans would buy their childhood home if cost were not an issue, but only half of all adults say they could afford it at today’s prices.

The survey, conducted by real estate company Zillow, found that an even larger share of millennials and Gen Z adults would buy their childhood home today.

"It appears younger generations aren't just nostalgic for low-rise jeans and Barbie, but for a simpler time in their lives when home was a place of comfort and safety," said Manny Garcia, a senior population scientist at Zillow who conducted the research. "They may associate positive memories with their childhood home, having lived there without the burdens of rent, mortgage payments, maintenance, insurance or other housing hurdles." 

People born in the 1980s and 1990s were the most likely to say they would buy their childhood home today — 62% and 55% respectively. Yet almost half of those born in the '80s (47%) and nearly two-thirds of those born in the '90s (62%) said they couldn't afford it at today's prices.


Green grass lawns seen in front of homes in a Los Angeles, Caifornia. (Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Garcia added, "Today, a comparable home can feel out of reach, especially for younger adults who aspire to buy, but face steep affordability challenges." 

Another recent Zillow analysis found that home shoppers today need to make more than $106,000 to comfortably afford a home. 

While many adults aspire to buy their childhood home today, they likely envisioned a very different dream home in childhood. 

Many adults desire pool, home theater in dream home

The largest share of adults said that, as a child, their dream home included a pool (77%) and/or a home theater (73%).

A vast majority of adults now dream of a home with air conditioning (89%), a walk-in closet (89%) and a laundry room (85%).

However, that inner child still lives within a significant share of adults, who said they still wanted a bowling alley (43%), a frozen yogurt or soft serve machine (34%), and a soda vending machine (24%) in their present-day dream home.

Living close to mom is consideration for Americans

While buying the family home may not be an option, the location of a person’s mother is also important to adults. 

According to a new study from Realtor.com, nearly half of U.S. adults – about 47% – have moved or plan to move themselves or their mom, so they can be closer together.

RELATED: Living close to mom is major consideration for Americans buying a home

About 14% of people surveyed have already moved to be closer to their mom or maternal figure, and 15% plan to do so. About 10% said their mom moved closer to them and 8% said their mom plans to, the data shows. 

Certain adults even opted to live under one roof. About 20% of those surveyed said they moved in with their mom, and another 13% said their mom moved in with them.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.