What Planet are you From?

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

When American author John Gray wrote the international best seller – Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, it took the world by storm. Why? Because it essentially hit the nail on the head. We had known for years that men and women are different, we just didn’t know how or why.

This book looks at the profiles of individuals in terms of their gender and the fundamental differences that make up male or female thinking and behaviour patterns. He likened men to the Roman God – Mars and women to the Roman Goddess – Venus, stating that by all accounts, males and females could effectively be from different planets.

This is often never more obvious than when we looking to buy a property and purchasing a home that ticks all the right boxes in terms of his and hers can and often does create certain stresses for both parties.

Any estate agent will tell you that the dynamics of a potential purchaser’s relationship will more often than not need to be taken into consideration when showing the client’s properties for sale. The commonly-used terminology of “who wears the pants” can be one of the factors that determine success or failure for the estate agent concerned.

Men, being practical thinkers, will often look at the practical dynamics of a property in order to ascertain whether or not it would be suitable for the family. Having a stencil outline of every tool that he owns on the garage wall coupled with the fantastic bar and entertainment area ready for the boys at rugby kick off time, would glean a sparkle in the eye for most males. His female counterpart however, places great value on other aspects of the home such as the magnificent newly-renovated kitchen and bathrooms. The question is - who will win the ultimate battle?

Compromise, of course, is part and parcel of any relationship and adopting a “win some, lose some” mind-set may help the gender factions meet somewhere in the middle. That said, while a lapa with a bar may ultimately appeal to both parties, it’s unlikely that the woman will overlook the state of the property merely because it has state-of-the-art shelving in the garage. Women tend to view the overall picture and although they will make allowances, are not going to settle for anything less than the perfect home.

There are other factors that have changed the dynamics of relationships in recent years, with far more women contributing to household income and no longer only performing the more traditional function of wife and mother. Career-driven females have new-found freedom and the realm of gender equality has undoubtedly played a significant role in changing how men and women view their respective positions within a relationship. Reports indicate that more women are buying property in their individual capacities than ever before and this has levelled the playing field, so to speak.

That said, oestrogen and testosterone cannot be removed from your core being and this is a fundamental element of what drives individuals even when social rudiments change. The bad news for guys, and most estate agents will tell you this, in the arena of purchasing property, is that the woman usually makes the ultimate decision. Typically, the woman of the house is the homemaker and whilst she will value her man’s opinion, this instinctive thread is sewn into the very fabric of her make-up.

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