The rent-or-buy debate typically revolves around money, with the buy camp winning more often than not. It’s hardly surprising that, even after the housing crash, most young Americans still aspire to own a home.
But will it make them happy?
Granted, it’s a tough thing to measure. Other variables shove their way into the mix.
Nevertheless, social scientists do take a pretty good stab at the question. Happiness matters. A lot. We don’t mean bubbly happy, but adaptable, resilient, content, optimistic — powerful determinants for long-term health and success.
“Lots of research converges to suggest that if you’re happy, you’ll be better off in life,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California at Riverside.
So what does the research say?
Here are some theories on the question of who is happier, renters or homeowners.