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How Does Love Affect Homebuying?

When buying a home, what’s love got to do with it? As it turns out, more than we thought! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we surveyed almost 800 people to find out how love shapes different attitudes and experiences of homebuying. (Don’t worry, we included singles, too!) Here’s what our survey found out.

When buying a home, what’s love got to do with it? As it turns out, more than we thought! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we surveyed almost 800 people to find out how love shapes their varying attitudes and experiences when buying a home. (Don’t worry, we included singles, too!) Here’s what our survey uncovered:

Shifting Views on Marriage Impact Ideal Time to Buy a Home

For most of our respondents, love is a crucial factor in their desire to buy a home. Almost 72% said their ideal time to buy a home is during a romantic relationship. However, love in itself isn’t their only consideration; the level of romantic commitment also influences their ideal time to buy.

Interestingly, slightly more people (over 36%) said their ideal time to purchase would be while in a committed — but not legally binding — relationship such as marriage or a civil union, compared to over 35% who said they’d wait to buy until joined together by law. As national marriage rates continue to decline, we may see a growing gap between these two camps.

Rounding out our answers, 21% percent said they would prefer to buy while single.

Single Homebuyers Also Want Single Living

While taking on roommates is an increasingly popular way for new buyers to finance their homes, there’s not much love for them among many of the prospective single buyers we surveyed. Almost 40% of them said they never want roommates, and just over 30% aren’t planning on having roommates, but are willing to consider them. Only 6% said they’d buy with the intention of having roommates.

It’s worth pointing out that this may not be realistic, with tightened inventories and higher than average prices for starter homes weighing down the market. Some of you single folks might need to embrace the company!

Finances and Personalization are Top Concerns for Single Homebuyers

Our single prospective homebuyers may not feel the love with roommates, but they definitely love stability and freedom. Almost 39% said their top motivation for buying a home is that they believe “it’s fiscally responsible,” while 29% are motivated by a desire to have a space they can transform however they want. This makes sense, as renting often doesn’t afford the chance for tenants to perform high-level customization. Come to think of it, roommates make that more difficult, too….

OK, singles….we hear you!

More “Young” Couples are Comfortable Buying Together than Long-Term Couples

Young love is exciting, exhilarating and full of potential — to buy a home, at least. Of the group who desires to buy with a romantic partner, more people said they’d be comfortable co-buying within only a year of starting their relationship than those together five years or more (17% to 13%, respectively).

Less surprising was that the majority (over 61%) said they’d be comfortable with co-buying after being in a relationship for 2-4 years. As the simply smarter home experts, we definitely recommend this option!

Over a Quarter of Homebuyers Spend at Least 5 Years Together Before Buying

Two to four years seems to be the magic number for couples to buy a home together. Echoing the sentiments of the future buyers we surveyed, the majority (61%) of those who have purchased with a partner indicated they were in the relationship between 2-4 years before buying together. However, over a quarter (26%) said they waited between 5-10 years, while only 13% said they purchased within the first year of their relationship.

Location is the Most Common Compromise for Homebuying Couples

Of those who have purchased a home with their partner, 39% said location was what they had to compromise to make it work. However, this may not be too negative a story; a previous Homes.com survey on those who have moved for love found that only 17% didn’t like the location.

Surprisingly, only about 7% of respondents said they had to compromise on the number of bedrooms or bathrooms (are we the only ones who thought this would be higher?), while 16% compromised on the house size.

Most Couples Feel OK with Compromising for Their Partner

According to a previous Homes.com study, 1 in every 3 homebuyers is reduced to tears during the homebuying process, and 2 out of 5 feel it’s the most stressful life experience they’ve ever had. Add in the desires of someone you love, and things can get messy really quickly. But, it’s not all doom and gloom! An astounding 96% of respondents said they felt either neutral (54%) or positive (42%) about making compromises. Only 4% said they absolutely hated to compromise.

Couples, breathe a sigh of relief. Even during the stress of buying a home, it looks like love still conquers all!

Having Kids is a Non-Factor for Many Couples’ Decisions to Buy

As we expected, the majority of respondents (63%) said they’d definitely buy a home if they had kids. What we didn’t expect was that more respondents said kids wouldn’t affect their decision to buy than those who said kids would make them at least consider buying (15% and 6%, respectively).

More people citing kids as a non-factor in their decision making may point to the millennial struggles to break into the starter home market; in essence, having kids may be a non-factor because, well, many young families sadly can’t afford to enter the market in the first place.

Do you have a story about love and home buying? 

We’d love to hear it! Scroll down to the comments section and tell us how love has impacted your homebuying journey.

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