AKA 135 Bland Road
Anyone who has bought a house knows there is nothing rational about the process. But a recent study* has highlighted a new low for good judgement yet demonstrates something that marketers have long known and practiced.
1 in 14 people asked said that they were likely to pay more for a home they are looking to purchase just because that property has a name, rather than a standard number. And that amount can even be in the range of 15-20%
The naming of houses has always been common with large estates and rural properties, as owners needed some way to describe property A from property B be they lavish or small. The introduction of house numbers came with the industrial revolution and advent of denser urban housing, to simplify the work of city services (especially the postal service and tax collectors) that needed to be able to identify who lived where with some easy rather than trying to remember thousands of property names in the booming industrial cities.
The practice then spread back out into the suburbs and country-side as the simplicity of a number over a name became practical to all and was promoted by developers and governments.
Yet the value, or should that be perceived value, of a property with a name still clearly exists. As fewer houses remain named, in direct correlation to the value and/or remoteness of the property, it is fair to assume from a financial point-of-view that a house with just a name equals a house of a higher value and cache.
In other words social status.
So we come back to the assumption by home buyers that regardless of what they are purchasing, even with rock solid knowledge of the property, regardless of size or location, that a house with a name comes with the perception of class, status and wealth thanks to those socio-economic perceptions. It is not about putting ‘perfume on a pig’ (see my other blog post on over-labelling here) but about playing on the psychology that come from a property purchase and the high emotional engagement.
So looking to buy a house? Put the pull of social climbing in check, forget about ‘a man’s home is his castle’ and picture the bricks and mortar rather than the allure of a quaint title. For all you know the owners added it yesterday just for your benefit.
So looking to sell? Think of a name, make it sound “Ye Olde.”, and add a couple of grand to your asking price. But perhaps not in that 8th floor inner-city apartment.
PS: You can always have some fun with naming your home, two I have known and always amuse me are ‘Poor Ridge Cottage’ which was in an area called The Ridge (get it!) and The Nut House which was owned by the Squirrel family (who clearly have an excellent sense of humour)