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This chapter is from the book

What Is Housing Psychology?

I define housing psychology as "a field of study that synthesizes human-place interactions with finance." It incorporates social psychology, which looks at our behavioral interchanges with others. It borrows from environmental psychology, which examines the roles of "place" in our lives and tries to understand our attachments to home.2 Almost all of our housing transactions have financial and economic effects, so the dynamics of housing psychology fall within the new and growing field of "behavioral finance."3

So how can knowing your housing psychology help you make good housing decisions today and in the future?

Any housing decision—buying, renting, selling, remodeling, or investing in a second home—combines significant financial and personal components and consequences. On average, the cost of renting or carrying mortgage payments sets most of us back each month from about 25 percent to as much as 50 percent of our income. Although finances are definitely a major factor, housing choices are not only about finances. In fact, they are not even just about housing. They involve our ideas, desires, longings, identities, beliefs, attitudes and all the other aspects of our unique personalities, as well as our relationships.

There are two parts to understanding your housing psychology: uncovering your housing history and becoming better acquainted with your housing desires and values. With the combination of this self-knowledge, you can create a personal decision context—call it your Housing Value System—for grappling with even your most difficult housing decisions. It is possible to compare notes and resolve disputes with a partner and/or other family members, so you can make shared housing choices without the emotional flare ups that can make moving so unpleasant.

Understanding your own inner signals and housing preferences, and those of your partner or family members, can help you make decisions you can trust and investment choices you can rely on better. Understanding your housing emotions also positively spills over into other important life areas because you learn how your past history influences your current decisions, especially financial decisions. These are some of the benefits you discover from the 10 Secrets to Successful Home Buying and Selling.

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