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What You Consider Important when Buying a Home: Measuring Priorities in Market Research

whats important homebuying market researchThe weather is starting to warm up and more of us are venturing outside, myself included. Walking my dog around the neighborhood I’ve noticed a number of for-sale signs and it reminds me of my own recent home buying experience. It was exciting and at the same time stressful. Once I made the decision to buy I started watching all the home buying shows and attending open houses to figure out my list of must-haves and nice to haves. I wondered how my list stacked up against others who went through or are going through the home buying process.

Using our online panel of consumers, I employed TRC’s proprietary Bracket™ exercise to find out what homebuyers find most important when considering buying a home. Bracket™ is a tournament-based analytic approach to understanding priorities. For each participant, Bracket™ randomly assigns the items being evaluated into pairs. Participants choose the winning item from each pair; that item moves on to the next round. Rounds continue until there is one “winner” per participant. Bracket™ uses this information to prioritize the remaining items, and calculate the relative distance between them.

I created a list of 13 things to consider. I didn’t include standard house stats: # of bedrooms, # of baths, etc. as I tested those separately using a conjoint analysis (my next blog will dive into what I did there).

Proximity to work

Proximity to family

School System

Size of lot

Fenced-in yard

Dedicated parking (i.e. garage, drive-way, parking lot)

Master bathroom

Basement storage

Wood flooring

Open floor plan

Updated kitchen

Updated bathroom

Pool

We interviewed 197 recent or soon-to-be homebuyers and the Bracket™ exercise revealed that size of lot, school system, updated kitchen and dedicated parking are given high consideration when buying a home. A pool, wood flooring and basement storage are given low consideration.

  • How to prioritize in market research home buying
  • How did this compare to my list? Size of lot, school system and dedicated parking were at the top of my list as well. However, a fenced in yard and wood flooring were highly important too given the fact I have a dog. My next question was is my priority list similar to other dog owners? Apparently not. Looking at participants who own a dog, their priority order is very similar to total. I guess I’m an anomaly.

I found it interesting that open floor plan and wood flooring were not higher on the list. Anyone who has ever watched a home buying show knows open floor plan and wood flooring seem to always be at the top of the list.

Did I get my must haves or did I compromise? After 8 long months of house hunting I found my home. I walked in and immediately knew it was mine. The lot size was perfect, it was in a good school system, it had dedicated parking, a partially fenced yard and wood floors throughout. Maggie and I are loving every minute of our new home!

Amy tends to weave her love for food and fitness into her blog entries. He unique take provides an interesting read. She often utilizes TRC's online consumer panel to answer her research questions.

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