This may sound like an article in Cosmo but it’s not…, it is a male realtor’s point of view after years of showing couples homes and observing what women tend to focus on vs. men. The National Association of Realtors say women account for 85% of the home purchase, so what women want is what they usually get when it comes to home purchases.
Both women and men usually start their home purchase by looking at homes for sale on the internet. Because so many of our buyers come here from out of state they are looking at great homes but have no idea where they are located until their first day here, loaded into the car and driving off. Usually the man is salivating over the size of the property, “I want 100 acres” and his wife is asking ‘Are we there yet?” as we are no more than 5 minutes from downtown Jacksonville. Once while leaving Jacksonville and driving up Sterling Creek road with a couple in tow, the wife looked out in amazement at the forest of trees and declared “The trees are too tall.” The comment seems funny when saying it, but I did understand what she was saying. She felt uncomfortable in such a rural location and the trees made her feel closed in so it was no surprise that couple ended up in a home with a wide open view of the valley.
What do women want in a home? Women’s home preferences tend to be more practical and functional than men’s. Women like dining areas with easily wiped hardwood or tile floors, not carpeting and the location of a laundry room is likely to matter to them…they consider it a smart design if the laundry is by the master bedroom.
Men seem to be more interested in a home’s space and dimensions. “The guy may be saying, ‘Oh, man, look at the size of this place,’ and the woman saying, ‘Oh wow, look at the cabinets and the hardwood floors.”
So what do women and men want in a home?
- Great location: Women usually care more about location and think more about how life will look in their house for the next 20 years. For couples who are retiring here, he may be enchanted with a large rural location and she is worrying how she is going to take care of everything in a remote location so far from all the amenities. Women also think more about safety and can feel more comfortable closer to other homes. Men on the other hand seek more peace and quiet and are drawn to rural locations.
- A great kitchen: This is definitely the most important focus for women who see the kitchen as a family focal point. Both men and women love big open kitchens that include space for dining, entertaining, doing homework, using computers, watching TV, and hanging out together.
- Land: It is a guy thing that bigger is better and it certainly applies to the size of a lot or acreage. A women’s point of view is different, she not going to use 100 acres so it’s not important, but for a guy just telling his friends back home that he’s buying a home on 100 acres fulfills some male need from “Maslow’s Hierarchy.”
- Big closets: Women want a home that helps manage their family’s accumulation of stuff. That means cupboards, drawers, cubbies and organizing systems. But above all, it means great walk-in closets. In many case the walk-In closet is just for her and he has to find another place to store his stuff. Trendy open designs, while fabulous, typically rob homes of storage space because they have few interior walls, which are crucial for built-in closets, shelves and cupboards to help tame clutter.
- Bathtubs: They are a big attraction for female buyers. Not sure why, but I think it goes back to those Calgone TV commercials where the tub is one place in the home you can escape from the kids and life.
- A comfortable place to socialize: A party space is nice, but women seem to focus more on a comfortable environment for sitting around, sharing and enjoying family. It could be a kitchen island or counter, a comfortable den, or a sofa pulled up in front of a fireplace. Men, on the other hand, go straight to the back yard to see where they will socialize. The recent trend of outdoor covered kitchens complete with TV’s, heaters and fire pits can fulfill a man’s dream.
- A dedicated laundry room: Laundry rooms are becoming more important and a washer & dryer in a garage doesn’t make it anymore. Women want the washer and dryer by the bedrooms and better yet close to the master. Trooping up or down a set of stairs with a laundry basket to reach the washer and dryer is another huge turn-off.
- A floor plan that makes sense: Guys seldom get this but women are aware of the way a home flows. They do a great job of imagining living and functioning in the house, where guys just want to know where there TV and chair goes.
- A two-car insulated garage: Countless times I have seen the husband head straight for the garage once we enter the home and his wife doesn’t even bother looking. When we’re back in the car she will ask if the garage was nice and he will ask where the laundry room was? So garages are important to men but seen as just storage by many women.
How is the real estate market doing?
The real estate market continues to exceed expectations with fewer homes on the market, multiple bidders on homes under $200,000 and the return of out of state buyers buying homes over $500,000. A slight rise in interest rates to over 4% is putting more buyers into the market place and may accelerate the numbers below.
- Median price per home percentage: Up 19.8% to $190,000
- Average days on the market: Down 27.7%
- Number of homes for sale: Down 10.5%
- Pending Sales: Up .8%
- Month’s supply of inventory: Down 34.5%
- Interest Rates on a 30 year fixed: Rising slightly: 4.16% **
If you have any additional comments please give us your input on our blog at http://expertprops.com/blog/ . Expert Properties specializes in Real Estate Management, Sales and Furnished Rentals.
*Statistics are for Existing Home Sales for the last 90 days: March 1st -May 31st, 2013 and compared to the same time last year. Provided by the Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service.
**Per Bankrate.com 6/5/2013