Are Gender House-Hunting Role Stereotypes Changing?

Dated: January 22 2021

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There’s no shortage of research and insights into how men and women differ when it comes to consumer attitudes—but scarcely any that deals specifically with the most important purchase either sex makes: buying a home. A while back (2013), Realtor® Magazine did tackle the topic in a piece based on a 50,000-consumer survey of active house-hunters.

In general, the house-hunting process itself was slightly more enjoyable for women, with 87% saying they liked looking at homes—10% more than for the men. Their views of homeownership differed as well. Men tended to associate it with “control over living space” and “more space for my family,” while women linked homeownership to words like “pride,” “accomplishment,” or “Independence.” Those answers would conform to timeworn stereotypes, with the men tending to concentrate on a future home’s physical properties, while the feminine take focused on the social implications of living there—a difference that’s certainly thought-provoking.

These stereotypes were less well-delineated when it came to the type of house-hunting responsibilities each gender tended to assume. Women thought they took the lead in chores like neighborhood research, while men considered collecting financial data was primarily their responsibility. Those results tended to be more inconclusive than not: most often, a majority of house-hunters of either sex considered responsibilities to be shared.

Such nebulous conclusions probably explain why there has been a lack of recent research into the subject. Too, there has been an understandable shift of interest into the more readily investigated phenomenon of the rise of single women as “a driving force in homeownership”(the Washington Post’s phrase). In recent years, as women move ahead in the workplace, single women account for more home purchases than do single men.

All gender stereotyping aside, 2021 is already shaping up as an active St. Cloud house-hunting year for all comers. I hope you’ll give me a call when it’s time for you to join in the hunt!

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Noel Johnson

Passion for investing in real estate brought me to create Premier Real Estate Services in 2002. Years of purchasing, developing, and managing several rental properties, while assisting friends & cli....

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