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Americans Want Relatives to Live Close By, Within Reason

The desire to be close, but not too close, to family members could be influencing the migration habits of homeowners and aspiring homeowners.

According to a survey by Ally Home, 67% of 2,000 respondents said they wish they lived within a 45-minute drive to relatives, which is a significant shift from the original survey conducted in April 2019, when only 27% of respondents said they wanted to live that close to family.

That said, 43% of respondents say family members should not live close enough to just "pop in and say hi," up from 37% who felt this way in April 2019.

"The pandemic has changed our lives in so many ways, particularly in keeping families apart for extended periods of time," says Glenn Brunker, President of Ally Home. "Priorities have shifted for many Americans who now desire to live closer to their families, and finding their next home may be challenging in today's real estate environment. It's important for consumers to do their homework upfront before starting their home search to understand the process and requirements."

Here are a few key findings from Ally Home:

  • Two-thirds of Americans (67%) say as the pandemic continues, they wish they lived closer to family.
  • Parents with children wish to be closer to extended family than those without (76%).
  • Three in 10 Americans have thought about moving closer to family since the start of the pandemic.
  • More than half of Americans (55%) agree while they miss their family, they don't think they could live with them, or live too close.
  • Generation Z (43%), millennials (49%), and Gen Xers (48%) are more likely than baby boomers (33%) to say family should not live close enough for them to just pop-in and say "hi."
  • Men (66%) are more likely than women (56%) to say there should be some driving distance between them and their parents/in-laws.
  • Since the pandemic began, 61% of Americans have canceled trips to see family.
  • Those in the Northeast (68%) are more likely than those in the South (60%), Midwest (61%), and West (59%) to say they have canceled trips.
  • Three in five Americans (61%) say that while video chat has helped, not seeing their close family in person has been very hard.
  • Out of those, millennials (71%) and Gen Xers (64%) report struggling the most with only being able to see family virtually.

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media/Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning news, among others. Contact Christina at christina.hughesbabb@thefivestar.com.
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