Northeasterners least likely to feel their homes’ exteriors reflect their personalities

I get a lot of press releases, and typically, if they don’t seem to include some very specific tie to the greater Portland area, I’ll delete them. I get them from all over the country, as clearly public relations folks are employing the buckshot method of promotions, scattering their information so far and wide somebody somewhere might report on it.

And, proving that the method does indeed work, every great while something catches my eye that has only the vaguest ties to Portland that I pass along anyway because I find it kind of interesting. Which is what the PR folks are counting on.

Today, I got something from the Kansas City-based DaVinci Roofscapes, which commissioned a Harris Interactive poll on how closely Americans believe the outward appearances of their homes reflect their personalities.

Among the responses, DaVinci reported, were the following exclamations:

  • “It too is old, but really stylish.”
  • “It looks simple and unpretentious, which is how I think of myself.”
  • “The exterior of my home is conservative in appearance, which is the same as my personality.”
  • “I am a contemporary person, [and] my house is contemporary.”

According to the company’s poll of 1,005 homeowners, 71 percent of respondents felt their homes’ exteriors matched up pretty well with who they are as people. Regionally, 80 percent of Midwesterners felt the corroboration was strong, while 73 percent of Southerners and 70 percent of Westerners felt close to the looks of their homes.

Pulling up the rear in the house look-alike contest? Northeasters, 65 percent of whom still agreed that their home exteriors reflect their personalities.

My first inclination was that we up here in the Northeastern United States are just frankly more practical about our homebuilding, and furthermore that our housing stock is among the oldest in the country. So a great percentage of us are living in homes that reflected somebody’s personality back in the early 1900s. Others of us care less about whether our exterior shingles and roof angles mimic our demeanor, and more about whether they hold up in snowstorms.

Then I looked a little closer at who was being surveyed. “Homeowners,” as defined in this particular survey, are limited to people over the age of 40, with household incomes of at least $150,000 and — in the case of the Northeast and West — own single-family homes valued at $500,000 or more. (Folks in the South or Midwest were allowed to take part in the survey even if they were slumming it in $400,000 homes, while Californians in particular couldn’t respond unless they — or somebody they hired to do so — picked up the phone in a $700,000 abode.)

So I guess we can say 65 percent of somewhat highly paid Northeasterners feel like their homes’ exteriors reflect their personalities. The percentage among the rest of us is probably lower.

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Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.