The 10 emotional states of choosing a home
Buying a home is an incredibly emotional experience. And for lack of better wording, it’s a rollercoaster as well, especially if there’s more than one person involved in the decision making process. So how do married couples do it? Or even couples in a long-term relationship? Because people have ranked house hunting and open houses as stressful as a promising job interview or as incessantly competitive. It can border on obsessive as well, especially with being able to visit a home multiple times online after seeing it in person. With more than one person involved, these tendencies seem to be escalated as well as argued more heavily.
Especially with as something as huge and expensive as a house or with as something as locked in as a lease agreement, are there generic rules of how each side chooses a house? Well, there are always exceptions but there are a few surprising tendencies. One of these happens to be the current owners of the property we’re interested in. According to a study conducted by online estate agent easyProperty, about 29% of women judge the home based on cleanliness in comparison to 27% of men. Sixteen percent of women judge based on decorating choices. And not surprising to many, one in five of people interviewed lost interest in a property solely because of the owners themselves.
In their study, easyProperty consulted a number of behaviour and psychology specialists, including Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE (professor of organisational psychology) and surveyed 1,000 UK adults to discover exactly what goes on in our heads when we go to set out to find a new home.
Professor Cooper said:
“Choosing a home is a big life decision and can be highly stressful. Block viewings can add to the stress and even drive competitive behaviours. Competition for resources and territory in humans is natural and informs a lot of behaviour. But equally, tensions do arise when people are in cramped spaces. House viewings with multiple interested parties could be just as stressful due to these cramped conditions.
“Men and women may react to the home viewing process differently, and for a number of reasons. Firstly, women may be more inclined to visualise a property as their next home, planning where to put furniture or ‘decorating with their eyes’ earlier in the process than men due to having stronger home-making instincts , but that’s not to say men won’t visualise too. They just tend not do it as often or as early.
“The fact that men are prone to be put off a property because they didn’t warm to the current owner suggests males may be focussing more on the transaction, rather than visualising the property as their next home.”
This factoid sounds like me, to be honest. About 15% of people are ‘mildly obsessed’ with a property after seeing it and I do admit, I’ve said that after more than one property viewing. Also unsurprisingly, women are more likely to feel this way. But how are our decision making processes actually affected between the genders?
Men tend to be more competitive while in an open house while women tend to be more imaginative and able to see themselves in a property sooner than their male counterparts. Additionally, women are more able to visualise a potential house turning in to their future home as well as able to see the possibilities for renovations and decorating. Men focus greatly on the transaction factor of finding a property as well as making sure they get the most bang for their money. These findings, by no means, are surprising to many but they are interesting to actually see in person and on paper.
Finding and buying a home is emotional. It’s complicated, stressful, and absurdly rewarding once it’s down. With your partner, if you’re able to find your dream home and buy it, kudos to you. We all know the kind of stress you went through to get it. And we’re proud of you. Now go throw a great housewarming party and invite your new neighbours!