Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | April 24, 2010

Female Taste Matters

 It’s a smart builder who knows what to promote when appealing to women buyers. Three experts share their top six deal clinchers for warming a woman’s heart.

1 Cooking power: In the kitchen, pantries are big, says Mary Taggart, editor-in-chief of Ottawa at Home magazine.

‘Luxury finishes are big too, granite countertops, even if it is just done on the island,’ she says.

‘In my kitchen, having two ovens was a must. I love to entertain and am the one who wants to cook every holiday meal, so incorporating the extra cooking space was essential.

2 Sweet spas: Men see bathrooms as simply functional. Women want gorgeous bathtubs and a spa-like environment, says Taggart. ‘A bathroom is so much more of a retreat for women.’

Luxurious finishes are appealing to women, but so are the small details. At a recent Ladies’ Day event, decorator Kelly Maoirino got lots of enthusiasm over a small chandelier in an ensuite bathroom.

3 Mandatory options: Choosing options and upgrades is one of the most exciting aspects of home-buying for women. Builders who leave a bunch of samples lying around on a table in the garage of the model home are missing out on an important part of the buying experience, says marketing consultant Bridget Brennan. ‘It helps capture the excitement of the buyer.’

4 Storage, storage, storage:

In a bulk-buying world, women want to be sure there will be a place to stow the 28-roll package of toilet paper. ‘People are paying to outsource storage. That tells us that people are willing to pay for storage,’ says Brennan.

5 Security plus: Women want features that make them feel safe. That includes good street lighting and lighting around the entranceway of the house.

6 Colour plus: Women have more confidence with colour than men. Brennan notes that the U.S. home-building giant Ryland embraces personalization to attract women buyers. Instead of offering three colours in a 100-house development, the company now typically offers nine to 15 colours.

‘Women see colour differently than men, but colour is a very personal thing, not necessarily a gender thing,’ says Taggart.

‘I do think women seek to personalize space with greater zest than men. Women will go to much greater effort to make a space stand out and showcase their personal taste with more strength than a man might.’

Courtesy Times Colonist

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