Do men or women make the home buying decision?

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Men and women consider different things when making a decision on buying a home. So who ultimately wins out?

Buying a home is always going to be a stressful exercise. Firstly you have to pick the right location, then you have to find something within your price range and thirdly, you have to buy something that is not only to your taste, but which will also house your family in relative comfort.

As if this wasn't enough to digest, there's also a strong possibility that your husband, wife or partner doesn't have the same taste in property as you and although you may be able to find something that you'd be more than happy to live in, your partner won’t necessarily believe that it's entirely suitable. Take heart, there's a good reason for this. Men and woman focus on different aspects of a property. For example, while the lady of the house will inspect every room in order to ascertain whether or not it will meet the family's needs, the man will be checking out the garage and/or working spaces to see if they are suitable for him, or trying to figure out if there's enough space in the lounge for his beloved flat screen TV and bar. Basically, although it's a generalisation, what we are trying to say is that men are more concerned about finding a home they can relax in, while women will want to ensure that every member of the family has their own bit of space in the ‘nest’.

It's not the only difference between men and women. An American real estate group recently conducted a survey which found that women make their minds up far quicker than do men. It was found that 70 percent of women made a buying decision on the day they viewed a property as opposed to just 62 percent of men. More than half the women polled stated that it was more important for them to live closer to their extended families as opposed to nearer their places of work. Only 37 percent of men felt the same. Although when asked what they would do with a spare room most couples appeared to agree (25 percent stated that they would use it for its intended purpose while 15 percent said they would use the space as a study) a large percentage of those who opted to use the space for entertainment purposes were men.

It could of course be argued that South Africans are not the same as their American cousins, but here's the thing - 80 percent of the men who took part in the American survey said that women made the final buying decision. That's interesting, because according to Private Property's stats, 60 percent of browsers are female. Does this mean that women not only hunt for suitable properties, but also play a huge role in the final buying decision? Unfortunately, there aren't any South African statistics available on this, but the fact that South African women are the ones getting out there and searching for a suitable home could mean that they are the ones who have the most say and who end up buying the property they love.

Of course this doesn't mean that women should overlook the needs of their men and compromises will probably have to be made on both sides in order to find a home that offers just the right something to keep everyone happy.

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