Do You Follow Your Heart or Head When Choosing a New Home?

Coldwell Banker Survey Finds Women and Men Make Home-Buying Decisions with Head and Heart

PARSIPPANY, N.J. (March 27, 2012) – Square-footage and price are important elements to consider when selecting a home but according to a new survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate of 1,000 men and women, they both also rely on how they feel and how their lifestyle fits into a home when looking for a place to live. The survey found 28 percent of women and 25 percent of men put more emphasis on their feelings about a home than they do on the layout, square footage, or price. The majority of women (62 percent) and men (61 percent) also know within the first visit if the home is right for them.

“A home is more than square-footage and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and this survey shows just how much emotion can play a role in home buying process,” says Jessica Edwards, Coldwell Banker Real Estate consumer specialist. “When two people are looking for a home together, there are many considerations to take into account. Of course, price and layout matter, but ‘feeling at home’ is an important factor.”

The survey also reveals insights into the roles men and women play at home and finds some interesting differences between age groups.

Women Take Charge of Making a House a Home:

  •  Over half of women (54 percent) say that they take the lead when it comes to decorating.  However, younger men play a larger role in décor decisions than their older counterparts. Forty-eight (48) percent of younger respondents, age 18-44, say decorating is mutual; this decreases to 36 percent for respondents 55 and over.
  • Women also cook it up in the kitchen. Sixty-eight (68) percent of women say they are the “primary chef” for their household. Not to be outdone, some men are also putting on the apron – occasionally. Nearly a quarter of men (23 percent) say cooking is their job.

Age Changes How Men and Women Feel “At Home”

  • Sharing financial decisions may get easier over time. Fifty-four (54) percent of people age 18-44 say major financial decisions are mutual, compared to 60 percent of those 45-54. This increases to 70 percent for people 55 and over.
  • Interestingly, as age increases, so does contentment with the current status of the home. Almost half (45 percent) of those older than 55 say they are very happy with their home just the way it is, compared to 25 percent of those age 18-44. More men seem to be focused on making significant changes to the home (9 percent) compared to women (5 percent).

For couples entering the home-buying process, here are Edwards’ tips for harmonious house-hunting:

  • Each person should come up with a list of a few things that are most important and then come together as a couple to decide on a list of the top three to five things that are important for the home.
  • When looking for a home, communication is key. Consider designating a point person for different aspects of the home-buying process, so that information is not delayed or communicated to just one part of the couple.
  • Don’t get too many people involved; typically more people means more stress and what is most important is that the couple is happy with the decisions being made.
  • Don’t forget to have fun! Remember that this home will be the place to build memories and a life together.

Decorating a Small Home to Create More Space

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Working with a small living space can be a tricky scenario for new homeowners, especially more established couples who have accumulated a great deal furniture, accents and other personal keepsakes. But before home buying remorse sets in, new owners should consider some common decorating tips that can allow them to maximize the space they have and avoid feeling crowded or cramped.

To begin, it’s important that homeowners conduct a thorough review all the items they own and go through the painful elimination process. Try to weed out appliances, clothing, accessories and other items that haven’t been used in years and are taking up precious space, Daily Finance suggests. This first step is usually the most difficult and once homeowners have gotten rid of burdensome items, they begin organizing their living space to create a more open home environment.

Use storage space appropriately

Bookcases and shelves have a multitude of uses, and using them creatively can not only save homeowners space, but provide a decorative piece to the home. For example, bookcases can be used to store DVDs, CDs, pictures, artwork, sculptures, vases and other trinkets and heirlooms. Homeowners may also transfer floor plants to bookcases to add a splash of color to the room.

In addition, building shelves in cluttered areas can also provide more storage for households at minimal costs. If individuals have bulky entertainment centers that are bare and is primarily used to hold the television, consider selling it and mounting the TV to the wall to create additional space.

Rely on wall and ceiling space

In rooms like the kitchen, wall and ceiling space can provide ample room for homeowners to hang pots and pans and hanging fruit and vegetable baskets, giving them more counter and cabinet space. In addition, spice racks, storage jars and utensil holders can help individuals organize their kitchen tools and keep their counters de-cluttered. Similar to using bookcases to store decorative items, homeowners might also consider investing in an open food carts and organizers.

Don’t be afraid to hide

When it comes to storing seasonal clothing, decorations or trinkets, keeping these items under the bed can save homeowners a significant amount of space. The same holds true for closets and other nooks and crannies in a home, Daily Finance reports. It’s also a good idea to purchase shoe racks and organizing cabinets for bedroom spaces to remove these items from the floor.

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