For The Love Of Real Estate

When it comes to dating, we all have our own kooky preferences for finding that special someone. Whether we're looking strictly for dog lovers, vegetarians, outdoorsy types or homebodies, everyone has a check-list of "must haves" or "would likes" to screen out the best possible prospects. For a particular breed of no-nonsense daters, AKA the speed daters, they prefer to get right to the point and weed out the best out of the bunch with direct and specific questions that touch on various aspects of a potential boyfriend/girlfriend's life and personality.

Well, with Valentine's Day right around the corner, we decided to do our own little speed dating to see how much a person's housing choices comes into play when it comes to finding that special someone - and if it matters a lot, who cares more - men or women? To do this, we put together a fun Love & Housing Survey - which we asked Harris Interactive to field for us - we found some surprising and some not-so-surprising stats on how today's singles view dating and real estate.

OK - let's start by going over the questions that we asked by simulating an impromptu real estate speed dating experience in 3...2...1...

1) Ideally, what should your prospective date's home situation be like - e.g., apartment vs. single-family house, suburbs vs. cities, roommates vs. alone?

2) How open would you be to living with your boyfriend/girlfriend to save money?

3) Do you care whether you date a homeowner vs. a renter?

4) Do you think homeownership indicates that someone is serious about being in a long-term committed relationship, such as marriage?

5) If you were in the market for your first home, which home amenities would make you “fall in love” with a property?

Phew! Got some time to think about your answers? To see if you’re on the same page with most men and women across the nation, keep your responses in the back of your mind as we walk through our survey findings.

Trulia Valentine's Day Survey, part 1

Single and living with your parents? It may be time to move out.
It is now officially official that if you call your parents, "roomies," you probably have a non-existent dating life. According to our survey, only 5% of unmarried U.S. adults would prefer date someone in that living situation.

But parents aside, most unmarried adults (62%) would rather date someone who lives alone versus someone who lives with other people - which makes sense. Living alone means no distractions and more privacy. However, when it comes to location and the type of home, there was definitely a noticeable difference between men and women. More women preferred to date someone who lived in a house in the suburbs and more men preferred dating someone in an apartment in the city. What can we say, guys like the fast-paced city life and girls long for the white picket fence!

Would you, personally, prefer dating someone who lives...?
Total, Unmarried U.S. Adults
Alone 62%
With other people 14%
Other or None 24%


Would you, personally, prefer dating someone who lives...?
Total Unmarried Men Unmarried Women
Alone in a house in the suburbs 33% 29% 37%
Alone in an apartment in the city 29% 32% 25%
With roommates in either the suburbs or the city 9% 14% 9%
With their parents 5% 6% 4%


More men open to shacking up to save money
When you take that big step to live with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you are ultimately giving up your single life and layin down some commitment. But these days, this move is sometimes less about the solidifying the relationship and more about being economical. In our survey, a whopping 74% of unattached renters (meaning those who don't own a home and haven't tied the knot/haven't made the decision to live together) said they would be at least somewhat willing to live with their significant other to save money. What we found was rather interesting. Men are more likely to be very willing or willing than women (51% vs. 34%) to giving up the bachelor pad to save some money!

Would you be willing to live with a boyfriend, girlfriend or significant other to save money due to the economy?
Total Unmarried Men Unmarried Women
Very Willing 21% 23% 18%
Willing 22% 28% 16%
Somewhat willing 32% 28% 36%
Not at all willing 26% 21% 30%


Homeownership is NOT a deal breaker.
A majority (63%) of unmarried U.S. adults said it didn't matter whether their significant other owned their own home or rented. That said, there are definitely more than a few picky daters out there who do care. Women in particular are more likely than men to prefer dating a homeowner versus a renter (36% vs. 19%). What can we say, some women really know what they want.

Would prefer dating someone who rents or owns their own home?
Total Unmarried Men Unmarried Women
Owns their own home 28% 19% 36%
Rents their home 2% 2% 2%
It Doesn't matter to me 63% 72% 54%
Not Sure 7% 6% 8%


Younger daters say homeownership signals commitment
Among unmarried U.S. adults, 43% said homeownership is NOT an indication that someone may be serious about being in a long-term committed relationship, such as marriage. And when we looked at what men and women said separately, there was only a sliver of a difference - 36% of women and 33% of men said owning a home was a signal that someone is ready to settle down.

However, when we took a at the differences in opinions across different generations, 44% of millenials (18-34 year olds) felt that homeownership does equal commitment while only 26% of Baby Boomers (55+ year olds) felt the same.

Do you think homeownership indicates that a person may be serious about being in a long-term committed relationship, such as marriage?
Total 18-34 YO 35-44 YO 45-54 YO 55+ YO
Yes 34% 44% 28% 26% 26%
No 43% 35% 50% 54% 47%
Not Sure 22% 21% 21% 21% 26%

What spells love at first sight for first-time homebuyers
We asked all U.S. adults surveyed to select every amentitiy that would make them "fall in love" with a home. For men and women in the market for their first home, both sexes are actually seeing eye to eye on what’s most important - which according to our survey is the master bathroom, followed by a...walk-in closet!? Guess there is a lot more synergy between the sexes than we thought and that men care as much about their shoes and clothes as women do!

Maybe the battle of the sexes on this issue isn't much of a battle after all.

Love and housing - it's a tricky little thing.

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