By happenstance, I read two things online the other day that linked up in my psyche as needing the other for completion, though I’d read them on different sites, at different times and in very different contexts. First, I read an article about a January 2009 survey by Real Simple Magazine, in which 2,600 men and women responded to this question: What would make you happier?
Interestingly enough, real estate ranked way up there. For women, "a big house" was No. 3, behind a luxury trip and a clean house. (To my mind, it seems like women want a big, clean house to return to when their luxury trip is over, but that could just be me!) For men, a big house ranked No. 1 as the most frequently expressed "thing" that would make them happier. Romance, sex, cars, and smarts all ranked after big, honkin’ real estate.
Later that same day, I read an article on CNNMoney.com, discussing the neuroscientific evidence about what real estate traits actually do and do not cause a home’s occupants to be happy. In an exploration of the new field of "evidence-based design," the article argued that "neither tons of space nor high-end furnishings are key to your home satisfaction. Much more important are things that may seem minor but that pack a big emotional wallop."