• SmartMoney

Lovers Value Dream House Over Dream Spouse


It may not be possible to put a price on love, but the square footage and location of where that love story takes place is a different story. Many couples take their potential partner’s apartment into account before entering into a relationship, according to a new study, and are reluctant to pack their bags if the relationship breaks up.

Real estate apparently holds value better than relationships. Given the choice between their dream home and a perfect spouse, 30% of the 1,000 Americans surveyed said they would choose the dream home, according to a survey by Rent.com and RedShift Research. And some 22% of single people would date someone strictly because they like their home.

In fact, nearly 25% of Americans value one thing more than freedom from a broken relationship: a nice apartment – and 37% of them would wait a year or more to move out. Men are even more likely to stay in a relationship – 28% admitted to delaying a break-up to keep their current living situation versus 21% of women, the survey says.

The older people get, the less value they put on property over freedom. Some 40% of those between 18-34 years of age stay put despite a failed romance versus 22% for those between 35-54 years of age and 17% for those 55 and over. Christina Aragon, director of strategy at Rent.com, advises setting a deadline for moving out and, for those with extra cash, “Hire a moving company to help.”

Tight finances also play a role in couples staying put, studies show. “The Survey of Marital Generosity” by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia recently concluded that 38% of couples that had been considering divorce prior to the recession put those plans on hold – even if it means they are less likely to meet someone new.

Couples also stay together for social and financial reasons, experts say. “If a couple can live together amicably and have separate bedrooms, I don’t see a problem with that,” says Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of EtiquetteExpert.com. She says people prioritize finance over romance, especially in the aftermath of the recession.

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