10 emotional states of choosing a home

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We all know that buying a home is stressful. Yes, it’s also exciting and sometimes even fun, but somewhere along the line, most property purchases are fraught with worry, anxiety and stress. But did you know that there are also many other emotional triggers that we go through…?

Online estate agents easyProperty questioned 1,000 UK adults to reveal the varying emotional states we experience when finding a home - from impulsiveness to obsessiveness - and explores the differences between how men and women experience the process. 

The study found that women and men behave very differently during the process - and the differences emerge before the viewing and last a long time after.

Key findings:

  • We go through a predictable emotional cycle when looking for a home, starting with cautiousness and instinctiveness, and ending with obsessiveness and fixation.
  • 28% of women admit to repeatedly viewing a property online after viewing it.
  • Women are 13% more likely to “mentally move into” the property than men. 
  • Men are more likely than women to pull out of a deal because they take a dislike to the owner of a property.
  • 15% of home viewers admit to becoming ‘mildly obsessed’ with a property after viewing it.

Top psychology professor, Sir Cary Cooper CBE, believes men are more focused on the transactional nature of finding a property, while women are more likely to visualise themselves in a new home.

He says: "Choosing a home is a big life decision and can be highly stressful. Block viewings can add to the stress and even drive competitive behaviours.

“Competition for resources and territory in humans is natural and informs a lot of behaviour. But equally, tensions do arise when people are in cramped spaces. House viewings with multiple interested parties could be just as stressful due to these cramped conditions.

“Men and women may react to the home viewing process differently, and for a number of reasons.

“Firstly, women may be more inclined to visualise a property as their next home, planning where to put furniture or 'decorating with their eyes' earlier in the process than men due to having stronger home-making instincts, but that's not to say men won't visualise too. They just tend not do it as often or as early.

“The fact that men are prone to be put off a property because they didn't warm to the current owner suggests males may be focussing more on the transaction, rather than visualising the property as their next home." 

The stress of viewing a property

16% of us say block viewings and open houses are as stressful as going for a job interview. 

The competitive rental market drives stress. 6% of us exhibit competitive behaviour at house viewings. That figure is 9% for London residents. 

4% of us are so determined to secure a property we fill out the letting agency’s paperwork in advance – with this figure hitting 7% in London. And 3% of us admit trying to ‘butter up’ estate agents too.

We’re quick to pick up on details too. 29% of women and 27% of men say they’ve judged the owners of a house they were viewing due to their cleanliness. 16% of women have judged owners on their decorating choices.

It’s not just the property and surroundings that can scupper a property deal though.

1 in 5 of us would lose interest in a property because we didn’t like the owners. Men are 6% more likely to admit to this. 7% of us have made an offer on a property before leaving the viewing. Men are slightly more likely to do this than women.

15% of us admit to becoming ‘mildly obsessed’ with a property after viewing it. Women are twice as likely as men to admit to this.

And finally, a quarter of us admit to looking at an online listing repeatedly after having viewed a property. 28% of women admit to doing this compared with 23% of men. 

Lauretta blogs and vlogs at www.homeandhorizon.com