Owning a house not always the American dream, studies show

New York /
Jul.July 12, 2013 03:00 PM

Investing in real estate may not translate into happiness, according to a growing body of research, the New York Times reported.

People are happier when they spend money on experiences rather than material goods, experts in happiness say, which means foregoing that vacation or cutting restaurant meals in order to buy property may be a step in the wrong direction when it comes to contentedness.

“People still view housing as a central component of happiness and a critical aspect of the American dream,” Elizabeth Dunn, an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, told the Times. “But there is little research to support that.”

A study of about 600 women in Ohio in 2011 even found that homeowners weren’t any happier than renters. Homeowners spent less time on leisure and found themselves facing the reality of maintenance and repairs, the findings showed.

Part of the problem could be that home buyers have inflated expectations of homeownership, thinking that buying real estate is an end-goal, when many people would probably be happier moving occasionally, the Times said. Buyers also end up making a number of trade-offs by the time they actually close a transaction for a home.

“Things give us more joy when they are first acquired than over time, as we adapt to them,” Ravi Dhar, a psychology professor at Yale University, told the Times. But many buyers will continue to pay a mortgage for years, long after that joy has faded. [NYT]Julie Strickland


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
With a cooling trade war, stocks perform well, including real estate. (Credit: iStock)
Real estate stocks push up this week as U.S.-China trade tensions ease
Real estate stocks push up this week as U.S.-China trade tensions ease
416 West 25th Street and Maverick Real Estate Partners principal David Aviram (Credit: Google Maps and LinkedIn)
Chelsea landlord claims “predatory” lender is charging a crippling interest rate as punishment after losing foreclosure case
Chelsea landlord claims “predatory” lender is charging a crippling interest rate as punishment after losing foreclosure case
From left: Ryan Johnson and Jeff Berens, co-founders of Culdesac, in front of a rendering of Culdesac Tempe (Culdesac, iStock)
Startup that wants to build car-free cities raises $30M Series A
Startup that wants to build car-free cities raises $30M Series A
Signature Bank president and chief executive officer Joseph DePaolo (iStock)
“It’s a good time to make loans:” Multifamily lender smashes earnings record
“It’s a good time to make loans:” Multifamily lender smashes earnings record
Brian Kingston, managing partner & CEO, Brookfield's Real Estate Group and Brookfield Property Partners, in front of Two Blue Slip in Greenpoint (Brookfield Property Partners, Two Blue Slip, iStock)
Brookfield scores $330M refi at Greenpoint Landing
Brookfield scores $330M refi at Greenpoint Landing
Sam Chandan will head NYU Stern’s real estate programs  (samchandan.com, iStock)
NYU Schack Institute Dean Sam Chandan stepping down to join Stern
NYU Schack Institute Dean Sam Chandan stepping down to join Stern
(Illustration by The Real Deal)
Manhattan investment sales top pre-pandemic levels in Q4 comeback
Manhattan investment sales top pre-pandemic levels in Q4 comeback
(iStock/Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
Brooklyn and Queens closed out 2021 with all-time sale price records
Brooklyn and Queens closed out 2021 with all-time sale price records
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...