If you've ever house-hunted, you've probably got a sense that real estate purchases don't represent consumers at their most rational. Did you like a house or apartment more, or less, depending on whether it was sunny the day you saw it? Chances are, you did.
Buying a house isn't the same as buying a stock, an air conditioner or even a car. It's not just a product with pluses and minuses—good school system versus small kitchen, new roof versus longer commute. A house represents the kind of life you want to live. And given its cost, a house and the value it gains or loses represent in a very concrete way the life you will be able to live. Thus, it's both unsurprising and disturbing to realize our judgment about real estate is susceptible to many of the foolish forces that affect so many other consumer decisions—and in some ways, it may even be more affected. .