According to a study in 2011 in Ohio based on a sample of 600 women, people that rent a house experience the same or higher level of happiness as homeowners.

You would think that owning a home would provide you with the emotional security and stability that you need in order to pursuit other goals in life but the study supervised by Grace Wong Bucchianeri, assistant professor of real estate at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania shows that homeowners may spent less leisure time with friends and family and work harder and longer hours towards maintaining and sustaining their household than people that are renting.

In financial terms, even if the mortgage rates are lower than the amount of spent on rent, the repairs and overall up keeping of a home may cost a lot more. If you want to find out to what extent spending money on can make us feel happy and secure, read the following article that is based on scientific research.

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If trying to buy an apartment in New York City has been making you miserable, consider this: actually getting that home may not make you happy.

A growing body of research suggests that spending money on real estate doesn’t necessarily mean investing in contentment. Indeed, the conventional advice to cut back on vacations, restaurant meals and other extras in order to save money for a home may actually be detrimental to felicity. Experts in — an increasingly popular field focused on the scientific understanding of emotional well-being — say that people are happier when they spend money on experiences instead of material goods, whether it be a new car or a bigger apartment.

“People are making so many trade-offs in order to have that home,” said Elizabeth Dunn, an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia who studies consumerism and happiness. She recently explored the impact of housing on people’s happiness while compiling studies for a new book, “Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending,” which she wrote with Michael Norton, who teaches at the Harvard Business School.

The recession forced many people to curb their spending habits and re-evaluate their overall lifestyles. But after saving money for years, buyers encouraged by low mortgage rates are re-entering the housing market. They find the pickings slim. In Manhattan, the number of apartments for sale for the second quarter was at a 13-year low, stoking competition and driving up prices.

Now there is research like Dr. Dunn’s, emphasizing that when it comes to your overall happiness, “there are a lot of better things you could be putting your money toward” than real estate.

This isn’t necessarily bad news in a place like New York City, where nearly 70 percent of the housing stock is rentals. And it may offer some solace to frustrated buyers facing bidding wars and all-cash offers they simply can’t top.

“People still view housing as a central component of happiness and a critical aspect of the American dream,” Dr. Dunn said. “But there is little research to support that.”

Read the full article at nytimes

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