Friday, February 17, 2012

Homeowning: The New Dating Lure

Trulia’s new love and housing survey shows that both men and women prefer a homeowner over a renter. The survey included both single men and women. Only a mere two to three percent, depending on the gender, preferred an apartment dweller. What gives?

Wasn’t it enough to worry about weight, age and previous relationships, now we have to worry about her home ownership? I took a job about four years ago that necessitated me moving to an economically depressed area. I thought it smart to rent as opposed to owning because it would be extremely difficult to unload a house in this market. Lucky for me, home owning never came up in pre-date conversations. I think it may have been an assumption since I lived in a home with a yard that I did own. I tried to keep quiet that I’d been married twice; clueless that I should keep the rent situation mum on the initial dates too.

Why are homeowners preferred, especially among women? Stability, mainly financial stability, is the primary focus. A man with a house is probably not a spendaholic because he’s learned to budget for taxes and home repairs. We naturally assume a man with a house is more responsible and ready for commitment. This can be a false assumption. Consider the condition of his house, does he keep it up? If not, keep in mind, he’s not changing his ways because you’ve come into his life.

What’s wrong with a renter? People assume a renter is a transient. Start a relationship with him or her and they could disappear from your life. Most leases are for a year, which makes it hard to vanish overnight. Renters are sometimes considered playboys or playgirls with plenty of leisure time since they don’t have yard work. They spend their free time hitting the bars and clubs since they aren’t grouting the bathroom tile floor.

Trulia’s report spotlighted that 74% of the men would move in to save expenses, while 70% of the women were open to this option. It is much easier to move into a bigger house than a smaller apartment. Did you ever think of your house as a dating lure? It is, especially if you have a master bath, and walk in closets. Throw in a gourmet kitchen and you’ll be fighting off the women according to the survey.

Swimming pools and hot tubs did not have the same appeal. The would be dater has probably had to skim a pool or two in her time and isn’t looking forward to another one. I am surprised my favorite feature wasn’t mentioned in the house inventory, the garage. What woman wouldn’t want a two-car heated garage with an automatic door opener?

All this talk about homeowners versus renters agitated my fiancé who is a renter. It just goes to show that it is about money, he commented. Women are trying to figure out who has the most money so they can go after them. On one hand that may be true. Women who are looking to move into more comfortable digs may size up a date for housing opportunities. I have a co-worker who is constantly moving women in with him. He manages to get the last one out of the house before the new one moves in. Personally, I don’t understand these women who are willing to throw all sense of self away for free housing.

As for the renter, sometimes it makes sense to rent, especially when you are out of town on business, or do not plan staying in the area. It also leaves you open if you find that special someone you can easily find your home together without the nuisance of selling your previous home. All this talk about wanting a homeowner over a renter brings up another touchy subject, the ex who previously resided in the house. Suddenly the new love interest has to consider the garden tub they just frolicked in may have been used by her sweetie and his ex, only months before. The coveted walk-in closets may have been built specifically for the ex. If you’re lucky enough to have contact with the ex, she’ll point out she remodeled the kitchen you take so much joy in using. Your joy dimmed a little with her comment. So maybe a renter is the way to go.

My own mother remarried, and eventually went to live with her new husband in the house he specifically designed for his deceased wife. Does this bother her? Yes, it does. My mother didn’t want to live there with all the memories of the past wife. She didn’t rate a house of her own, she is merely getting a second hand house with constant reminders it isn’t hers. So once again, it’s another vote for the renters out there who are just waiting to share a new home with their special someone.

As for revealing all on your initial date, you might hold back your renter status. Allow the person to get to know what an amazing person you are first. Then again if they are going to throw you over for being a renter why bother dating them anyhow.

If it is the right fit, you don’t care. I tell my sweetheart, I threw over a couple homeowners for him. I, also, always wanted to move to the East Coast, and a home owner would be an anchor on my dreams.

Would you date a renter?

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