@ Anonymous Coward
"How many people do you know who tested rationally and objectively their choice of operating system, brand of mobile phone, model of car, location and characteristics of dwelling, etc., etc.?"
Most people (with a clue) in UK when but=ying a house get a survey done, this reveals potential issues( to lesser or greater degree depending on survey type / cost) - so there is some testing of charactersitics of a building.
Similarly location, people normally have some location reasons
e.g. In catchment area for school x
Handy for particular bus, train , driving route
In an urban area with lots of amenities - be they sporting, cultural or just lots of different cuisine restaurants
Opposite to above, in a more out of town area, with a bit more greenery,peace & quiet etc.
Dwelling choice does have more thought / investigation (unsurprising as be it rent or buy its a hefty cash outlay to get wrong!!)
Similarly, cars are not cheap, so although not to house level, some effort will have gone into investigating options.
You might see a pattern , related to cost, perceived importance (at the end of the day, shelter is a pretty important human need so housing likely to have a bit of time & effort spent on assessing it)