Valentine’s Day 2020 Home Buyer Households


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Using data from the 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers we can break down household composition, and the relationships it has on home purchasing choices.

  • Among all recent home buyers, 61% were married couples, 17% were single females, 9% were single males, and 9% were unmarried couples.
  • 3% of recent buyers identified as gay or lesbian, and 1% identified as bisexual.
  • Among first-time buyers, 53% were married couples, and 67% of repeat buyers were married couples.
  • Among first-time buyers, 17% were unmarried couples, and 5% of repeat buyers were married couples.
  • Among all home buyers, 83% purchased a detached single-family home, 6% purchased a townhouse/row house, 5% purchased an apartment or condo.
  • 87% of married couples, and 86% of unmarried couples purchased a detached single-family home.
  • Married couple buyers were typically 46 years old with a household income of $106,900. They typically purchased a home that was a median of 2,020 sq. ft., for $294,000.
  • Unmarried couple buyers were typically 34 years old with a household income of $91,700. They typically purchased a home that was a median of 1,700 sq. ft., for $227,660.
  • Single female buyers were typically 54 years old with a household income of $65,000. They typically purchased a home that was a median of 1,500 sq. ft., for $200,450.
  • Single male buyers were typically 52 years old with a household income of $72,800. They typically purchased homes that were a median of 1,500 sq. ft., for $189,920.
  • 15% of all buyers were influenced to choose their neighborhood based on the convenience to a vet or outdoor space for their pet. 27% of unmarried couples chose their neighborhood based on the convenience to a vet or outdoor space for their pet.

For more information on how relationship status and household composition affects homeownership choices, check out the 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

Infographic: Recent Home Buyer Demographics



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Staying In: How to Set a Valentine’s Table for Two, Courtesy of Ajiri Aki


Instead of dining out on Valentine’s Day—in a restaurant packed with strangers and dripping with paper hearts—wouldn’t it be more intimate, in every sense of the word, to stay in? That’s always been our preference: candles, a table set for two, and perhaps pajamas over crowds and cold.

When we emailed recently with Ajiri Aki, the France-based doyenne of stylish, effortless table settings (she runs the vintage tableware shop and linen purveyor Madame de la Maison), we were happy to hear that she feels the same, all the way over in Paris. Here’s how she sets the table for a simple Valentine’s dinner for two—plus her tips for making it just a bit romantic, never fussy.

Photography by Ajiri Aki.

1. Resist the urge to go pink.

Just because it&#8
Above: Just because it’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you should drape the table with all the pink things you can find. “As much as I love pink everything, I wanted to go with a simple, soft, romantic look using the orage tablecloth and sable napkins,” Ajiri says. “The orage linen is grey-ish blue, kind of like a storm. Orage means storm in French. It’s a soft color palette without going full-on pink.”

2. Choose petite flowers over big bouquets.

In lieu of a big (quite possibly overpriced) bouquet or centerpiece, tuck just a few small stems into mix-and-match glass jars. This is an intimate dinner at home, remember; the scale should be small. Ajiri used vintage apothecary bottles and vanity jars; simple jam jars work, too.
Above: In lieu of a big (quite possibly overpriced) bouquet or centerpiece, tuck just a few small stems into mix-and-match glass jars. This is an intimate dinner at home, remember; the scale should be small. Ajiri used vintage apothecary bottles and vanity jars; simple jam jars work, too.

3. Sprinkle some roses.

Above: “I always add one little stereotypical element that connects to the holiday,” Ajiri says. For a romantic touch, she scattered a handful of dry rose buds down the center of the table.

4. Use the good china.

Keep the meal simple, but serve it with favorite pieces. &#8
Above: Keep the meal simple, but serve it with favorite pieces. “These mussels in white wine sauce take a whopping 20 minutes to make, but they are always served in beautiful antique finds,” Ajiri says.

5. Embrace imperfection.

Let the table be a little beautifully imperfect, not prim or overdone.  &#8
Above: Let the table be a little beautifully imperfect, not prim or overdone.  “I rarely iron my linens because I find the texture beautiful,” Ajiri says.

6. Sit kitty-corner.

Set two places kitty-corner from one another. It&#8
Above: Set two places kitty-corner from one another. It’s more casual than facing each other—and you won’t have a table between you.

P.S. See more of Ajiri’s entertaining tips in Joyeux Noël: How to Throw a Holiday Party the French Way. And here’s our original feature on her work: Vintage French Style You Can Rent: Madame de la Maison in Paris.



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Galentines vs. Valentines Home Buyers


As Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s Day is upon us, the month of love is embraced. Love for oneself, one’s home, friends, and family. But that love is celebrated in a vastly different environment than it has been historically. In the 1960s more than 7 in 10 Americans were married. Today, just half of Americans are married.

Much has been cited about the change in marriage rates and how that is impacting housing. Some speculate that it is a contributing factor to the decline in first-time buyers nationwide. However, even single adults have to live somewhere. Many are embracing homeownership independently or with a new arrangement. With the housing affordability and inventory crisis—especially at lower price points—buyers are re-imagining homeownership that fits their needs, not the generations of the past.

The first-time buyer composition is mirroring the change in marriage rates. In the 1980s, there was at one point a peak of 75% of first-time buyers entering the market as a married couple. Today only 53% of first-time buyers were married couples.

So, who are the other buyers? The story had once been single females (cue Beyoncé), but today the single female buyer is not necessarily the leading lady. It is true that 17% of all recent first-time buyers were single females, but the share has dropped from a high of 27%. This drop is likely due to housing affordability. It is harder for a single-income individual to enter the competitive housing market the U.S. is facing today. Notably, while single men have traditionally had smaller shares of home buyers, the share of single men has now crept up to 10% of the first-time buyer market.

The recent, unprecedented rise among first-time buyers has actually been among unmarried couples. Those who are in a romantic partnership that, while they have not committed to a marriage together, have committed to a home together. The share of unmarried couples purchasing their first home is now on par with single females at 17% and is the largest share ever recorded in the data series.

Another rise is among the other category. This category could be any combination of adults but it sums up to roommates purchasing homes together—perhaps Galentines. These buyers have jumped from 2% to 4% in the last year. Not a large share of buyers, but it is a notable jump.

Buyers in the other category and unmarried couples do have something that single buyers do not: dual incomes. Dual incomes allow them to navigate the housing market and perhaps allows them to purchase a home that is at a higher price point where they may face less competition in the buying market.

For more information on how relationship status and household composition affects homeownership choices, check out the 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

Line graph: First-Time Buyers: Wedding Ring Not Required



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Editors’ Picks: The Remodelista Valentine’s Day 2020 Gift Guide


Here’s how I usually respond when my husband asks about Valentine’s Day gift ideas: “I don’t want anything.” “Really, any gift you give me will be great.” “Whatever.”

Here’s what I’m going to do this year instead: send him the link to this gift guide.

Below, Remodelista’s wish list of beautiful things:

Above: Margot’s smitten with the plant-dyed textiles of Dublin-based Kathryn Davy, in particular with her pink-hued wool socks, but as those are currently sold out, she’s eyeing this Linen Cutlery Pocket, hand-dyed with madder root; $24.71.

Above: From Julie: Centuries-old French fragrance company L’Officine Universelle Buly will carve whatever monogram you wish into its Savon Superfin soap for added luxury. You can also choose from different packaging (pictured are 2 of 14 options); €24.17 each (€5 for monogramming).

One Kiln Ceramics' Ash Glazed Cup at Alder and Co. Shop Above: “I love the foil of iron exterior and soft blush interior of this cup,” says Justine. One Kiln Ceramics’ Ash Glazed Cup, made in Japan, is $30 each at Alder & Co.

Above: “I would be happy to receive a clutch of dead flowers for Valentine’s Day,” says Fan. “These dried botanicals from Bloomist are so pretty and poetic.” The Dried Pink Heather is $22 and the Cream Globe Amaranthus is just $12. Extra points for presenting them in a Pink Terracotta Vase by Sheldon Ceramics.

Cafe Bowl Sorbet Heath Ceramics Above: Another Julie suggestion: Cafe Bowls, in sorbet, from Heath Ceramics’ Chez Panisse Line; $37 each.

Above: “I am dying for somebody to please get me a pair of pajamas from Zara Home’s really great-looking collection,” says Annie. “In particular, their Pleated Pajamas“; $69.90.

Hay Flare Candle Holder Above: Another one from Annie, who is committing to a candle-lit life this winter: Hay’s Flare Candle Holder, shown in pink, is just $25 each.

Above: Fan finds paper products—books, newspapers, magazines—romantic. These prettily packaged Antoinette Poisson Notebooks are each hand-printed and bound in Paris; from $48.

Above: Julie has Baies Rose Dishwashing Liquid by Astier de Villatte on her wish list. She found it at The Primary Essentials, where it’s currently sold out. Liberty London also sells it for £20.
Above: Another one from Fan: “I used to work with Marcie McGoldrick at Martha Stewart Living, where she was the editorial director for crafts and holiday. She’s now making artful ceramics, among which are these captivating cameo pendants, cast from tinted porcelain.” Her Cameo Jewelry, which also includes rings set in silver or gold, starts at $140 each.

Above: Margot fell for R+D Lab’s Italian colored borosilicate glassware at Shoppe Object last week. She was happy to discover that the Bon Nuit Bedside Carafe and Glass and Cameo Pink Ribbed Wine Glass are both sold at Sunday Shop; $178 and $82.

For past Valentine’s Day roundups, see:

  • Editor’ Picks: Our 2019 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide
  • Editors’Picks: 10 Valentine’s Day Gifts
  • 8 Favorites: Drinking Glasses With a Hint of Pink
  • Rethink Pink: 14 Favorite Graphic, Un-Frilly Rugs in Rose Hues



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