House Lust by Daniel McGinn is a book that explores the obsession of Americans with their homes. Through interviews and research, McGinn delves into the reasons why people have become so invested in their homes, from the dot-com meltdown to easy financing.
He examines the social implications of this obsession, such as the rise of shirtless carpenters and the comparison of buying and selling a house to dating. McGinn also looks at the pros and cons of vacation time-shares and how the housing boom has changed the way people think about their homes.
The book is an exploration of the psychology behind the American obsession with real estate. McGinn looks at the motivations behind people’s decisions to buy and sell houses, as well as the implications of this obsession on society.
He examines the role of real estate agents as matchmakers, the popularity of second homes, and the idea of house-trading as a form of spouse-swapping.
McGinn also looks at the impact of the housing boom on people’s attitudes towards their homes, and how it has transformed some people into “real estate junkies”.
House Lust is an insightful look at the American obsession with real estate. It provides an interesting perspective on the motivations behind people’s decisions to buy and sell houses, as well as the implications of this obsession on society.
What I Liked
Here’s the core problem. Housing in America is too expensive.
It is so expensive that it will be the average American’s largest investment and store of value.
That means that, instead of somewhere to live, a house becomes something to invest in with the hope of getting cash value from someone else in the future.
This very weird setup, where a single object is both a necessary consumer good and a store of value means that Americans behave irrationally with their houses.
That is what House Lust is all about. It’s amazing – and it will potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars. It shaped my family’s housing preferences and directly contributed to a better financial future.
What I Did Not Like
Not enough people read it! I read it during the Great Recession after getting laid off from my Lumber Salesman job thinking that this housing bust would kill the ridiculous mega-house lust.
And then the opposite happened. HGTV kept going. House flipping became sexy again. House prices recovered. And it keeps going. Le sigh.