Falling in love can be wonderful-and finding the perfect house
can make a house-hunter weak in the knees.
Day approaches, a survey by Realtor.com shows that falling
head-over-heels for a house is fairly common-69% of respondents
reported that they have had a home crush. House-hunters with a
"home crush," as defined in the survey, are drawn to the
same house again and again. Realtor.com surveyed 1,082 individuals
from Jan. 9 to Jan. 20 who reported having had a home crush.
approach house hunting the same way they approach dating, by checking
compatibility and fit, but the intangible factors are what tips a
house from crush to true love, says Leslie Piper, Realtor.com's
consumer-housing specialist and an agent with Pacific Union in
Lafayette, Calif. "You have to make sure you know what's
really out there. You evaluate what is a turn-on and turn-off, and
perhaps you'll fall in love," Ms. Piper says.
dating, men and women approach a home crush very differently.
findings from the survey:
are more likely to crush on home that is out of their price range:
41% of women said their home crush is out of their price range,
compared with 30% of men.
tend to move from one home crush to another:
36% of men said they find a new home crush weekly, compared with 29%
living spaces are the most attractive home attributes to both men and
women: 54% of women and 46% of men said outdoor living spaces
like backyards, decks and patios make them fall in real-estate love.
In addition, 42% of women preferred open-floor plans, and 40% of men
Nearly 80% of
homebuyers first find their home crush on their computer. After that,
about one-third then decide to go see the house in person.
About 16 years
ago, Brenda Van Fossen of Lynchburg, Va., stumbled on a
2,600-square-foot, contemporary-style house with 10-foot ceilings and
an open-floor plan. She called up the agent and was disappointed to
hear that the house was already under contract. But Ms. Van Fossen
couldn't get the house off of her mind. A year later, she found out
that the house was back on the market and purchased it for roughly
$170,000. Ms. Van Fossen, who became a real-estate agent in 2006,
says she has never felt this way about a house before: "That
first night there, it sounds silly, but it was like I was in
But love can have
a downside-heartbreak. "You have to be realistic. When you're
looking at homes outside of your price range, the last thing you want
to be is disappointed. It would be like falling in love with someone
on the other side of the country," Ms. Piper says. To move on,
she suggests keeping an open mind and perhaps considering several
houses at the same time in case the first choice doesn't work
out. Fortunately, unlike with relationships, picky homebuyers
do not need to limit themselves to what's on the market, she says.
Rebuilding, redecorating or building from scratch are an option, too.