Renters happier than owners?

Pani sent in the link to this article at the Wall Street Journal blogs about a recent study claiming that not only are renters happier than owners, they’re also less fat.

The average homeowner, however, consistently derives more pain (but no more joy) from their house and home,” writes Grace Wong Bucchianeri, an assistant professor at Wharton.

The report says that homeowners spend, on average, less time on leisure than those who don’t own homes. And the average homeowner is around 12 pounds heavier that those who rent.

The basis for the research comes from a survey of women in Franklin County, Ohio, which includes Columbus, the state capitol and Ohio’s largest city. And, interestingly, the research took place in 2005–so the recent drop-off in home prices wasn’t an issue.

The study controls for factors including household income, housing quality and health to draw it’s conclusion.  The full paper is available as a PDF on the Wharton School of Business website.

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Bilbo Bloggins

That's a generalization — owning is NOT painful. Owning UNAFFORDABLE properties or problem properties IS painful. Anecdotally, we invited this couple to go out for dinner with us a few times. Each time they declined. I stopped inviting them after the guy grumpily blurted out that they were trying to save money because of the mortgage. Mind you this was not a high-end restaurant that we wanted to try out. Entrees were $18 to $25 tops. Also, they're spending a lot of time and money right now trying to fix up the basement so that they can have their little mortgage helper. New flooring, appliances. It's all adding up. As for us, we're planning out next vacation probably to Spain and a Mediterranean cruise. We take about 3 vacations per year. This poor couple (actually their combined income is not… Read more »

read on

^^ good luck selling an "investment" that bleeds cash.


I own a Condo in Lower Lonsdale which I rent out.

After maintenance fees & taxes $620. PER MONTH

Costs me $546 per month to be a ?????

To own considering 4-8% per year depreciating market?

I will/can sell immediatelly!



read on

The house forclosure diet! Some one call Oprah!


"My analysis relies on the responses from about 500 women from Franklin

County, OH."

The author claims to control for a large number of factors including age (which is what led me to download the article – older people are more likely to own houses and presumably also more likely to be heavier) but given the number of things supposedly controlled for I'm surprised there was any data left in the end to draw conclusions from. Not that I discount the study. I'd describe it as interesting but possibly not the strongest evidence one could hope for.

Hmm, I should save this away just in case my wife should ever go crazy and insist on buying a house. "But dear, we'll get fat!"


I do not know about others but it is true for me.

After paying three full mortgages in my life peace of mind may be the underlining reason. 🙂