Briefcase: Property Acquisition And Happiness

Professor Dave Fagundes teaches property law as well as the mystery around happiness and buying a new home


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Can buying a new home actually make you happier? That's the question being researched by Professor Dave Fagundes who teaches property law at the UH Law Center. His most recent article is about the connection between acquisition and happiness, and he discussed the idea of happiness as an academic subject.

"Social scientists have been studying happiness for decades," Professor Fagundes said. "Using a variety of methods, it is now possible to determine with statistical reliability what activities tend to increase or decrease our subjective sense of well-being."

Fagundes also explained how this research could have an effect on property law. "A wealth of evidence shows that merely getting more property does not make people happier," he continued. "This suggests that law should not blindly encourage acquisition – as it does with the mortgage tax deduction and other housing subsidies – but should instead incentivize people to purchase property in a way that will make them happier, like reducing their commute or being close to activities they love to do."