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Homebuying 'Not Just About Money'

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Homebuying 'Not Just About Money'


August 3, 2018
The many faces of buying a home
Photo: Unsplash/Mark Daynes

The emotional weight of the homebuying or selling process can be overwhelming, and researchers are explaining how to best handle the tides of feeling.  

Dr. Scott Huettel, chair of the department of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, explains that physical space can be tied to memory, and then feel as though it is part of oneself. According to The New York Times, his own research into decision-making finds that the part of the brain tied to emotion, reward, motivation, and value is related to financial choices like buying or selling a home. Huettel advises buyers, "Emotions aren’t a bad thing. They’re an important part of a healthy life, and we just can’t suppress them. They’re important for constructing what’s important to us.” 

Buying a home is the biggest financial transaction most people will undertake in their lives. It can also be one of the most emotional. That’s because while buying or selling a home is, at its base level, an exchange of money for a product, it is also an undertaking suffused with hopes and dreams and, at least in the case of the seller, the memories and experiences rooted in that physical space. Yes, it is often a lot of money. But it can be much more than that — whether the transaction is happening for a good reason, or a wrenching one.

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