The Rise Of Single-Person Home Ownership

The American Dream is changing, right before our eyes.

An intrinsic part of the American dream is home ownership — after you lock down the partner, the kids, the dog and the job, of course you must find a home to put them in. Over at Curbed, Britany Robinson considers the new alternative to that staid dream: home ownership as a single person.

We’re rejecting the idea that marriage plus 2.5 kids plus house with a picket fence equals happiness. We’re downsizing and simplifying, in both our personal lives and our physical spaces.

Casting aside traditional notions of the American Dream that prioritize marriage, Robinson finds that the solution for wanting this dream and actually achieving it for the new and fast-rising population of single people is becoming less and less of a problem.

The notion of a home of one’s own sans partner comes with its own particular set of financial worries. Home ownership is expensive and having someone else to help share that burden is helpful. But owning your own home as a single person is doable.

It would be nice to have a partner to help me with yard work and join me in organizing my creepy basement. My parents warned me that it would be difficult to own and maintain a house alone. I never imagined how right they were. But I also don’t wish to live my life in waiting for someone else. I wanted a home for me — not a someday family.

Robinson deftly makes the case for considering what truly constitutes a fulfilling life, arguing that it’s different for everybody. Traditional notions of what defines “success” as an adult — marriage, children, the white picket fence — are eroding rapidly. As a single person, you can create whatever kind of life you want for yourself, whether it be in a tiny home that sits on a trailer bed or a house that you own with a friend.

By embracing a greater variety of images of what makes a fulfilling life, we’re slowly reshaping the American Dream in a way that is more attainable, sustainable, and reflective of our individual needs, rather than a blanket assumption of what a happy life should look like.

Figuring out what works for you within the boundaries of your own life is essential; listening to an ever-weakening chorus that insists that the American Dream still involves a family and children is no longer the only option.

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