What’s the Real Cost of Wanting More?

At last it’s Springtime!  Warmer weather, the trees are budding, the grass is coming back to life.  It’s wonderful!  This week I’ve gotten to enjoy outdoor exercise every day.  Last night as I biked surrounding neighborhoods I noticed a number of luxury homes for sale so I snapped a few photos.

Real estate - Aylmer, Quebec Real estate - Aylmer, Quebec photo3

Just for fun I thought it would be an entertaining exercise to determine the cost of living in one of these houses.  After researching I found most similar houses in this neighbourhood ranged in price from $950,000 to $1,299,999 ($1,577,397 to $2,158,542 after mortgage financing at 4.5% average interest rate over 25 years).  For the most part these houses featured 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and include a living room, family room, dining room and eat-in kitchen.

Let’s forget the financials for a moment and the fact that there are single family homes a few streets over for $315,000 to $399,000 ($523,032 to $662,508 after mortgage financing at 4.5% average interest rate over 25 years).  These houses have 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and include a living room and dining room.

Why are we so motivated to buy bigger all of the time?  More importantly does it actually increase our daily happiness?  Does the happiness justify spending an extra $1 million to $1.5 million (which is really $1.5 million to $2.25 million in salary earned before income tax is deducted)?

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