Love and homeownership

Valentine house

A new study examines the link between romance and home ownership. Image: ken ratcliff/Flickr/CC BY

For couples, Valentine’s Day can’t be beat. For single people, it’s maybe not the best day of the year. However, if you want to hedge your bet to not be alone next year, you should buy a house. According to a new study, people who own homes are a little more likely to attract a partner than those who don’t. But not by a large margin.

Show me the deed

The study, conducted by Harris Interactive for the real estate website Trulia, polled 1,000 single people. Participants were asked if they would prefer to date somebody who rented or somebody who owned a home.  Of those polled, 63 percent said it made no difference to them. But of those choosing a preference, it seems to be a much larger issue for women than for men. More than a  third, 36 percent, of women stated a preference for a home owner. For men, it was 19 percent.

Only 2 percent of women surveyed said that they preferred to date a renter. For men, the figure was only slightly higher at 3 percent.

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Marriage material?

The survey also asked singles if they felt owning a home was a sign that somebody is stable and ready for a long-term committed relationship. Nearly half — 43 percent — responded that it did not. But of those who felt it did, a higher percentage were so-called “millenials,” or those young people who came of age around the turn of the millennium.

Evict the homeownership roommate

Privacy, it seems, is important across the board. Sixty-two percent of those surveyed said they preferred to date somebody who lives alone.

Living with folks a deal-breaker

Because of the economy and the tight job market, many young people are opting to move back in with their parents after college. That may make economic sense, but, according to the poll, it is a romance repellent. Only 5 percent of those surveyed said they would consider dating somebody who still lives at home with his or her parents.

Michael Corbett, a spokesman for Trulia, said:

“That’s a real deal-breaker. If you’re still living with your folks, you’re dead-on-arrival for dating.”

Two live cheaper than one

Shacking up is an option for most, it seems, as a measure to save money in the tough economy; 74 percent said they would would be open to economically beneficial co-habitation.

The love of homeownership amenities

A bit off the track perhaps, but the survey also asked singles, if they were shopping for a home, what amenities would make them fall in love with a place. Walk-in closets got the highest response. Men mentioned them 55 percent of the time and women did so 72 percent of the time. Fifty-one percent of men got excited over a gourmet kitchen, as opposed to 62 percent of women.  Other amenities that got high marks were hardwood floors, outdoor decks and home theaters.



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