Does Homeownership Bring Happiness?

Having a good job, starting a family, and owning that perfect house – what most call The American Dream – is what many people strive for. To many of us, achieving this would appear to be the final destination on the road to happiness. But what if these things don’t make people happy?

Many researchers have begun to conclude that homeownership may not actually bring people the happiness they desire. In fact, many researchers now believe that people are inhibiting their contentment by cutting back on discretionary spending in order to save money for a home. These experts claim that instead of spending money on material goods, people should be spending money on experiences in order to improve their happiness.

These same researchers suggest that many people overlook what provides them the most contentment when it comes to finding the right house. The emphasis on location or physical characteristics of a home is not nearly as important as how we use our time living there.

Harvard graduate Dr. Elizabeth Dunn suggests that when shopping for a house, people should consider how the purchase will impact the time they spend on a given day, a week or two in the future. Oak floors and granite countertops may be visually appealing, but will they make a difference on how you live day to day? A dish washer on the other hand could save you 182 hours a year – yes we did the math! – giving you more time to do the things that you truly enjoy.

Renting a home, rather than purchasing one, may also prove to be beneficial to a person’s happiness. Although many people believe that buying a home will provide them the satisfaction of being a homeowner, and the status that comes with it, few consider the extra time and money it requires to own a home. Even if mortgage payments are less than that of rent, maintenance and upkeep require additional funds and time which could be used to further ones happiness.

So when selling a home, help your buyers recognize the real benefits of owning the home. Keep them focused on the pleasure of living in a beautiful house in a coveted neighborhood.
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