What Women Want: How to Determine What Matters Most When Buying a Home

Perfect Closet

It’s no secret that men and women think differently. We want different things, especially when it comes to large purchases like a new house. The fun comes in when you start looking for the “perfect” home for both of you. Let’s take a look at what women want in a home,what’s important to men, and how to reconcile the two.

For women, buying a home is an emotional experience. We focus on the aesthetics of a house: flooring, colors, hardware. While most of us know not to buy a house based on the décor, it is hard not to get swept away imagining ourselves in a home if it’s beautifully decorated. On the other hand, we’re pretty good at seeing the functionality of a home’s layout. We can look at a surface and know if it’s going to wipe clean easily or be the bane of our domestic existence. Who could blame us? Ease of care is crucial since we have so much to juggle with work, kids, friends and housework.

Men, on the other hand, see the dimensions of a room. They think about how big a room is before they imagine how practical its layout is going to be.

Here are the top 3 things women and men want in a home. You may be surprised to see where kitchens landed on these lists.

Men want:

An Updated Kitchen with lots of space and all the latest gadgets. Top Chef star Marcus Samuelsson claims that kitchens are the new garage. The popularity of masculine chefs like Bobby Flay, Anthony Bourdain and Michael Chiarello has sparked the trend of men in the kitchen. The old adage about ‘boys and their toys’ holds true in the kitchen as well.

A Man Cave. We all need a little personal space. Most men agree that their perfect personal space would ideally have a pool table.

Room for Improvement. This one seems counter intuitive, but surveys show that many men want a house where they can do a little work and improvement. Much like our need to decorate a house before it feels like home, men may need to do a few light repairs to familiarize themselves with their new home.

Women Want:

Spacious Closets with room to organize, see, and easily access our shoes and wardrobe. Anyone who’s shared a small closet knows that burrowing into the recesses of a dimly lit closet is not the most calming way to start your day.

A Smart Layout conducive to entertaining. Life feels more harmonious when the layout of your home fits your lifestyle.

A Great Master Bath, preferably with a separate shower and soaking tub. No matter how infrequently we may actually have time for a luxurious bubble bath, there’s a level of comfort in knowing that we could have nice soak if we really want.

Clearly these lists are very general and by no means complete, but hopefully they serve to remind that it’s important to set a list of priorities and decide where each of you are willing to compromise before you meet with a Realtor or hit your first open house. Making your own list of priorities together opens a focused dialog at a time when emotions can run high. Having a plan you can agree on lends a bit of perspective when you look at houses and can help you and your significant other find a home you’ll both love for years to come.

On a lighter note, I remember reading an interview where actress Joan Collins credited the success of her fifth marriage, after four divorces, to separate bathrooms. While Collins may not be an authority on marriage, her advice is food for thought. Happy house hunting!


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