Monday, May 05, 2008


What Type Of Homebuyer Are You?

Know thyself and you'll know what kind of home to buy.

Granted, in real estate sales we do everything for a buck. If you don't believe me, ask your friendly neighbourhood Realtor (but ask him politely). So, in the spirit that uniquely characterizes the lives of charming professionals such as myself, the real estate community routinely goes back in time throughout the annals of the history of mankind in an effort to discover new elements of the human psyche, which can help achieve exactly this goal: doing everything for a buck.

This time around someone (the competition, but I am not going to reveal who since I do not particularly care to be sued for libel) has dug up the word of none other than Heraclitus of Ephesus, who said: "Know Thyself". Not only did he say that, he also carved it into stone literally by having it inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.

Heraclitus was a pre-Socratic Ionian philosopher, a native of Ephesus on the coast of Asia Minor. An ancient Greek, in other words (ladies, never trust a Greek). The reasoning behind his famous quote is the philosophical Law Of Identity, an axiom of Logic, which states that an object is the same as itself. Which then, as it applies to human beings, means that humans tend to project in what they do and in what they choose a reflection of their own inner self. A concept this, which was later on taken up and amplified by stoicists in the Roman Empire and particularly by Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Marcus Aurelius in fact applied the principle of 'Know Thyself' thoroughly to the various people the Romans had conquered and subjugated throughout the centuries, and when it came to the Germanic Tribes across the Rhine and the Danube he quickly reached the conclusion that those folks did not know themselves at all. So much so, in fact, that he decided to exterminate them entirely (ladies, never trust an Italian).

Now, according to the competition who has conducted this intensive immersion into the depths of civilization, the step between these events that took place in the regions across the Alps and the psychology of the modern homebuyer is clearly very short, at least by cosmological standards anyway - just a handful of centuries.

Following the principle of 'Know Thyself', home seekers can be divided into four types, according to the study in question. Knowing what type you are will enable you to identify and then attract like-minded buyers and increase the resale value of your home when deciding where to sink your home renovation dollars (hopefully, you will not come across a buyer with the mindset of Marcus Aurelius).

The study divides homebuyers into the following four categories (albeit I might add I would have chosen different headings, somehow):

Social Animals

Social animals value spending time with neighbours and going for a walk around the block greeting everybody. They enjoy having a park or community centre nearby, they like to entertain friends, hanging around the kitchen with the family, enjoying the deck or backyard and walking the dog. While the feel of the neighbourhood is a big selling point for these "people's people", renovations that might warm their hearts would be a comfortable new deck, a spacious and homey kitchen, large fireplace, attractive backyard fencing and front curb appeal.

The Epicureans

Above all sun and food traditionalists, they value bright and sunny homes with lots of open spaces, fancy kitchens and gardens, including vegetable gardens, and formal dining and living rooms. Essentially they respond to the materialistic and esthetical aspects of life and want these values reflected in their homes. Renovations that would appeal to this bunch are gourmet elements in the kitchen, a fresh, bright paint job, thoughtful landscaping, opening up rooms by removing partition walls and formal elements such as high quality flooring and crown mouldings.

Pleasure Seekers

For them the experiences in life make it worth living. As such, they are somewhat oblivious to interior decorating and fancy faucets. But show them items such as a hot tub, pool, Jacuzzi, a home theatre room with surround sound system, recreation room complete with entertainment centre, wet bar and pool table, or a backyard deck with built-in barbecue and they will be ready to let the good times roll.


Villagers are willing to sacrifice space and even comfort in order to be able to live close to the conveniences they care about. Having groceries stores, restaurants and shops within walking distance or a short car ride away makes life exciting for these urbanites and uses their time in the most efficient manner. Home details that will catch their eyes are an ingenious and efficient use of space, professionally organized closets, open and bright floor plans and high quality materials that improve the looks of otherwise cramped quarters.

So now we know it. This study and particularly its conclusions certainly elevate all of us – shall we say – above the crowd. The sky's the limit. See you all in the stratosphere.

Luigi Frascati

Real Estate Chronicle


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