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December 28, 2021

Is real estate actually just like sex?

"What do college students talk about with their roommates?''

House Sex, according to author Marjorie Garber.

Twenty years later, what’s the main topic of conversation with their friends and associates?

You got it: Real estate — and with the same gleam in the eyes, she declares in her book Sex and Real Estate.

In trying to explain why we worship our houses with a passion once reserved for that long lost love across the hall, Garber considers the different roles houses and property play in our lives —going back in history and literature to explore today's obsession with, among other things, size.

When it comes to real estate, just like sex, we always want a bit more, says Gina Barreca, one-half of a he-said, she-said column called Irreconcilable Differences. And things don't just stop there.

“You're convinced everyone has more of it than you do. You want it wherever you can get it. You wonder how you will know when the timing is right and you fear making a big mistake.

You wonder what you'll do with it once you get it. You imagine its contours, textures, and impact on your life. You wonder what your friends will think. Will they envy you or think you're overdoing it?”

Real estate is sexy because it's about physical comfort and bodily pleasure, and it seems to create an appetite for itself. That's why it's fascinating to see what other people have — and what they've decided to do with it, she says.

“Of course size matters, as does the number of previous owners, the shape they left it in, and whether or not it slumps, leans, drains well or leaks.

What's around it matters, what age it is matters, what it looks like matters, and yes, the décor matters.”

Is a cigar just a cigar? Or is real estate’s allure actually that powerful?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...