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Study Finds Consumers Prefer Home Shopping to Dating

Finding a home is challenging in today's hypercompetitive and rapidly appreciating housing market, but a new survey from Zillow reports that 80% of Americans say they love the home they purchased. About 34% of recent movers claim it's harder to find a house to buy than a partner, however, most say shopping for a home is a more enjoyable journey.  

Some 62% of women are more likely than men to say shopping for a home is more enjoyable than dating, compared to 39% of men. Expert psychologists believe looking at for-sale listings can create a mood-boosting chemical reaction in the brain similar to the excitement of a romantic relationship. During the pandemic, a record number of users surfed Zillow to escape the stress of their lives and continued to daydream about the possibilities a new move could bring. 

"The way we shop for homes is in many ways similar to the way we meet romantic partners," said Zillow Home Trends Expert Amanda Pendleton. "Both involve wish lists, compromises and deal breakers, and much of the legwork happens online.” 

Another reason may be expectations. More than 60% of people say their wish list for a romantic partner is more difficult to satisfy than their wish list for a home, and 61% say they have more deal-breakers when it comes to choosing a partner. Around 67% of consumers are more willing to compromise on qualities in a home to buy than qualities in a romantic partner. 

Most people are self-proclaimed romantics at heart, especially when it comes to their home. Nearly 73% of Americans believe they could fall in love at first sight with a home, while more than half believe they could fall in love at first sight with a person. About 65% of singles reported they would consider moving to improve their dating prospects, and 84% say they would consider moving in order to buy a home. 

“Unlike dating apps, tools like interactive floor plans and virtual 3D home tours mean fewer home shoppers are disappointed when they see a home in person for the first time. Perhaps that's one reason this survey found that far more people (76%) think they'll be successful using an app to find a home to buy than to find a romantic partner (24%)," said Pendleton. 

Data shows once consumers found a home, some 80% of buyers fell in love with it. The study also found that 82% of consumer’s most common reason they love their home are the memories associated with it, and 77% related their sentiments toward their home to its location, neighborhood or neighbors. As with dating, finding "the one" in today's housing market may be challenging; however, house hunters can take steps to land their dream home with the right partners, preparation, and persistence. 

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at [email protected].

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