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Home Buying: Differences of Opinion Between Men & Women

The acquisition of a home is likely the biggest purchase most people will make in their life. It is the culmination of both hard work and aspirations. Essentially, purchasing a house is a statement that corresponds with a financial obligation. Of particular interest, however, are the different views men and women have in regards to homeownership. According to a third quarter Consumer Outlook Survey conducted by Prudential Real Estate, “men and women don’t necessarily see eye to eye when it comes to homeownership and the responsibilities related to home-buying and selling.”

The Consumer Outlook Survey interviewed 2,641 Americans who are actively participating in the market to buy or sell a home. Respondents fell between the ages of 25 to 64 and had a household income of at least $50,000. Everyone involved with the study was either looking to buy a home or just recently sold one.

While purchasing a house is an encouraging step forward for anyone, it can be a lengthy and stressful process. However, the method in which this process is approached is systematically different for both men and women. Prudential’s recent survey points out that women typically assume the lead of chief researcher, as they seem to be more involved with neighborhood analysis and the initial planning. Conversely, men claim to be more responsible for the individual financial aspects.

According to the survey, “39% of men in partnerships claim researching banks and securing a mortgage are completely their responsibility, 42% of women in partnerships indicated it is their sole responsibility to manage appointments and 34% take the lead in researching neighborhoods.”

Interestingly enough, women appear to enjoy the process of buying a home more so than men. On a national level, 87% of the women involved with the survey said they enjoy the prospect of acquiring a house compared to the 77% of men who do. These numbers suggest that the feelings of homeownership are more pronounced in women than in men.

“As the real estate market strengthens and household formation grows, men and women approach the buying-selling process from different angles,” said Earl Lee, chief executive officer of HSF Affiliates LLC and president of Prudential Real Estate. “What’s most interesting is the dynamic that exists among couples and the role that agents play in balancing couple’s real estate objectives.”

The survey has revealed conflicting perceptions, on behalf of both men and women, when it comes to purchasing and selling a home. The delineation of responsibilities appears to be ambiguous to say the least:

  • 71% of females say that making the down payment is a shared responsibility compared with 56% of males.
  • 53% of males are more likely to say researching schools is a shared responsibility compared with 42% of females.
  • 65% of females say collecting and evaluating assets and/or financials is a shared responsibility whereas only 54% of males say the same.
  • 63% of men say keeping the house in order for a potential buyer is a shared responsibility compared with 47% of women.

Despite their differences, both men and women appear to agree on the most important aspect of home ownership. A safe neighborhood, the condition of the house and the number of bedrooms were all considered to be a top priority for each respective individual.

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