CK Insights

August 19, 2009

Real (Estate) Opinions: Men vs. Women

Meredith Topalanchik

Often it can seem like men and women are speaking different languages. But when it comes to buying a home – the biggest purchase that most people will make in their lives – good communication is more essential than ever. To find out how gender might influence the home-buying process, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC surveyed 1,000 people to see where men and women diverge in making the big decision.


It turns out that men and women are not so different after all – at least in some ways. For instance, when it comes to taking the lead on major financial decisions, almost 70 percent of respondents said it was actually mutual. And over half of both men and women agreed that a home’s security (or lack thereof) would be a deal-breaker.


But in other areas, men and women weren’t quite so similar. Women seemed more quick to make up their minds when purchasing a home – with a majority saying they knew a house was “the one” the first time they saw it. The majority of female respondents would rather live closer to their extended family than their job, while a majority of men said they’d prefer to live closer to work.


When it comes to deciding what to do with that crucial spare room, men and women agreed on the top three (and most practical) options: a bedroom; an office/study; or a family room/den. But that’s just part of the story. The number of men who wanted to turn that spare room into an entertainment center greatly outweighed the number of women who said the same thing. Maybe it’s called a “man cave” for a reason…


To bring the survey to life, CooperKatz hit the streets with a video camera to ask a wide range of passersby about their own home-buying dynamic. The video is available on Coldwell Banker’s branded YouTube channel On Location, and can be watched here.


While not all men or women will line up with the survey’s findings, examining the home-buying process from a non-numbers-driven perspective is instructive – particularly given the overwhelming level of media coverage focused on the recession. When you strip away the obsessive stats on sale prices and foreclosure rates, real estate is still driven largely by lifestyle.


Lifestyle trigger points – from new marriages, to having a baby, to downsizing when the kids go to school, to retiring – remain the primary reasons that people choose to buy or sell a home. And since both buying and selling are emotionally charged experiences, digging deeper into the tendencies that emerge from basic factors like gender can offer a better perspective on the entire real estate process.


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