Here in the west wing of Century 21 Pinnacle, we have some very interesting conversations. Mostly about real estate, providing effective and exemplory customer service, some brainstorming, some water cooler talk and of course, some locker room talk. Have I mentioned that I am, 99% of the time, the only female upstairs in the west wing? I enjoy this for a number of reasons.
Having had the delightful and character-building pleasure of living in a largely male environment all of my life, I am more than comfortable with the background music of their cameraderie in the office. I find it easy to focus with the baritone pitch of male voices. When I hear the gal's voices, I get distracted and just want to jump into the conversation and sing with the sopranos. That's just the way I am. Besides, I must admit that I occasionally enjoy jumping into a bit of bawdy joking around every now and again.
Now, how does this relate to real estate and the price of eggs? Easy. I overheard one conversation about garages. It went on and on. I tuned in and out. Out mostly, because I really don't care THAT much about garages except, of course, as it matters and pertains to my clients needs. Chewing on my pen, I was reviewing the proofs and how to summarize our listings in our weekly property ads. I started considering how diametrically opposed the genders are when it comes to what we find initially find appealing and eye-catching in a home and yet manage to meet in the middle to find the perfect home for our needs. Clearly, it was time for me to join the fellas for some testosterone talk in the hopes of discovering yet a little bit more about what makes them tick... property-wise. www.johnbeukeboom.ca
First I spoke to my friend, Rick. "I'm just doing a straw poll here, do you mind giving me a hand?" Ricky, in his typically good-natured way responded, "Absolutely." "Rick, I want to know what appeals to a guy in a house? What features most impress you when looking at a house?" Without missing a beat, he responded "Easy. Garage, finished rec-room, hardwood-floors so I just have to sweep and not vacuum, good sized property, back deck, and a maid."
Now, ladies reading this, don't judge! This was an honest, real response. As far as the maid is concerned, I think if most women thought they could add that service to the inclusions on the offer, they would in a heartbeat. I then spoke to Jay. "Jay, what do you look for in a home?" Jay, typically, looked at me, looked down, nodded his head as he considered, looked back at me and responded "Garage, finished basement, guys want a man-cave, hardwood, back deck, property... and a maid." I collected my jaw off the floor. I thought I knew men but I didn't expect their answers to be so very consistent. About 15 minutes later, John climbed the stairs to the west wing after delivering an offer. "Sweetheart, what are the first things guys look for in a home?" Guess what? "Garage, finished rec-room, hardwood floors..." Talk about consistency. Incredible. There will be variations to priority out there among the Y chromosone gender, probably things like a kitchen might skip into first priority for the Food Network dudes out there.
Of course, some gents may change their answer to appease the ladies they share their domain with but I can assure you that very few girls will change their priorities to appease their man.
Which brings me to the housing desires of the fairer sex...
Our desires are, like our perogatives, subject to change but we do tend to have some consistent needs. Kindly forgive me if I do not conduct a poll because as a woman, I feel qualified to generalize on our sex's behalf. The results are not necessarily in the order presented and due to change as is my feminine right:
Curb appeal: We see the potential or limitations of the property immediately therein.
Cleanliness: Despite the fact that we all become overwhelmed by housework at times, we admire this very minor detail and it helps us see our own belongings and the property's potential as OUR home. I suspect this may be why my male colleagues did not list cleanliness as a priority as the maid in their employ will take care of housekeeping.
Decor and layout: Like a computer program, we are immediately creating a visual in our minds, deleting the seller's furniture and seeing how easy it is to drop our own in it's place.
Kitchen: We are able to see potential here but more often than not, SIZE MATTERS. We like a fair-sized kitchen. We can see beyond dated appliances but we don't usually want to be told we could just rip down this or that wall to make it bigger, because depending on the size and age of your family, kitchen and/or bathroom inconveniences can test the flow of family life.
Bathroom, more specifically bathtub: Fixtures are key and the cleanliness of these fixtures even moreso. Most ladies I know, and a surprising number of men, enjoy a nice bubble bath.
Closet space: I cannot stress this enough. We need closets, and if we don't have them we certainly want to add one to the house that is otherwise perfect. We have shoes we have clothes. Lots of them. Even the most down to earth among the XX chromosone gender need somewhere to put their Birkenstocks in the same way J-Lo needs a home for her Jimmy Choos.
Even if you teach yoga for a living, those LuLuLemons have to hang somewhere... and be honest, you have more than one pair of yoga pants and you occasionally leave the house wearing something else, don't you?
Fireplace: Personally speaking, this is a romantic must-have. I believe this lovely feature works for both genders. 'Nuff said.
Yard: Fenced is best. Size is important. The potential for beautification is essential. We all think we have a green thumb as soon as the frost is gone, and I can confirm from personal experience that women outnumber the men in springtime at the garden centre 8-2. At least here in Lindsay at the local Canadian Tire they do. Guys love their yards too, but we gals love to make it pretty. We get down and dirty, mulching, lifting yards and yards of sweet, black earth and digging to our heart's content. We shape and reshape the flower beds, and finish off with a flowery flourish of foxglove. Then we stand back, covered in dirt from head to toe with our hands on our hips admiring the natural beauty we have created for all to see.
We look down at our hands and think "Look at my nails!" This is where the importance of a decent-sized bathtub cannot be stressed enough. And of course, while you are enjoying a beautiful, bubbly soak in your nice, deep soaker tub your fella has finished cutting the lawn and is admiring your landscaping skills as he cracks open a cold one!
In closing, these are but a few opinions which illustrate how differently the sexes prioritize features in their search for the perfect home and manage to arrive, more often than not, smack in the middle of our gender-based housing desires to find the perfect home for our needs. If you and your better half are looking for the perfect balance in a realtor, John and I would be delighted to find you the home of your dreams... with a great garage AND loads of closet space... except we can't help you with the maid. You're on your own, there!
We are the ying to your real estate yang. Call today and let's get started!