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Why buying a home makes some happier than others

The research indicates that people often think something will make them happier than it does.

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Happy couple unpacking cartons in their new house
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By Alice Clifford via SWNS

Buying a home doesn't always make people as happy as they expect, especially if they're driven by status, a new study reveals.

Many people think becoming a homeowner is the answer to happiness, as you can get more space, and admiration from family and friends and you get to tick off a major life goal.

But researchers have discovered that many people are not as happy in their new home as they expected to be.

What is more, they discovered that humans are not very good at predicting what will make us happy.

The study, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, examined the statements of 800 future homeowners from Germany, to see how happy they thought they would be after buying a home.

They then were asked how happy they were after they had moved in.

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When answering the questions, the future homeowners knew what their new homes were like, so they could picture their new life.

The researchers discovered that while on average homeownership did increase happiness, it didn't rise as much as the new homeowners expected.

The response differed depending on the values of each person.

Dr. Reto Odermatt, of the University of Basel’s Faculty of Business and Economics, and researcher on the study, said: “It turned out that status-oriented people in particular, for whom money and success were especially important, overestimated the increase in life satisfaction that purchasing a home would provide."

"Intrinsically-oriented people, on the other hand, for whom family and friends are comparatively more important, did not.”

The research shows that we don't necessarily know what is good for us, as it reveals that people often think something will make them happier than it actually will.

We often follow what we believe we should want, instead of chasing our own desires.

These beliefs come from friends, parents, or adverts that suggest we must have something we might not even want.

Real estate sale, home savings, loans market concept. Housing industry mortgage plan and residential tax saving strategy. Piggy bank isolated outside home on background. Focus on piggybank. Homeowner
(ESB Professional via Shutterstcock)

Dr. Odermatt said: “Material values tend to be overestimated and often lead to incorrect prognoses.

"Intrinsic values, therefore, seem to be a better compass on the search for happiness in life than extrinsic values."

Put simply, we must consider our own values when making huge decisions, instead of those we think we should have.

This could lead to better decisions and greater happiness.

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