Real estate contentment: a critical component to achieve true happiness?
Buying a home can make you happy, if you don’t forget your social life
Homeownership is considered an important step on the ladder to personal fulfilment, but that might not be the true key to happiness.
New researches conducted by the University of Columbia have shown that the trade-offs many people make to save money to buy a home – such as cutting back on vacations, restaurant meals and other extras – may undermine their felicity, as investing in experiences rather than in material goods may lead to a greater happiness.
A study conducted in Ohio by Grace Wong Bucchianeri – an assistant professor of real estate at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania – in 2011 found that homeowners were not happier than renters, as owning a home implies some nuts and bolts that may catch homeowners off guard: maintenance and repairs, as well as contingent expenses may severely affect their serenity.
The recession has forced consumers to limit their spending habits and change their lifestyles, but after saving money for years, buyers are returning to invest in the housing market. Anyway, living in a lovely house located in a beautiful block and in a charming neighbourhood may not be enough to be happy.
Dr Dunn – a happiness expert – advises to think carefully about what really matters for our happiness when we decide to buy a home: the quality of our social life, which depends much on what we do with our time. Installing domestic appliances helping us to spend less time on tidying up our house to go out and enjoy the company of our relatives and friends would be a little good solution.
Mr Ravi Dhar – the director of the Center for Customer Insight at Yale School of Management – maintains that the impact of homeownership on happiness diminishes over time as the buyer adapts to it, just like with any other possession; therefore, according to this principle, moving periodically should be the key to remain happy.
But if you are not inclined to change the place where you live from time to time and you are considering purchasing your final home, where you will spend the rest of your life, take into account that buying a home can make you happy only if you choose the property that meets not only your money supply, but also – and most importantly – your personal and social needs.
Main source: TheNewYorkTimes - real estate
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