Purchasing a house is one of the most important investments people make in their lifetime. Individuals decide where to live based on features of the unit (e.g., an apartment versus a detached home, number of bedrooms, or having a garage) and its location (e.g., crime rates, and proximity to amenities and personal networks). These elements are used in hedonic real estate models to predict housing prices. Price, thus, is an indicator of how desirable any place is. However, we argue that these models omit subjective aspects that are embedded in purchasing decisions. Specifically, we discuss the emotions associated with the decision of where to live. Boredom is a particularly relevant emotion related to our environment. While individuals can be more or less prone to boredom, their environmental context can either lead to a further sense dullness from over-stimulation (e.g., living near Times Square in New York
City) or to a lack of meaningful connection from under-stimulation (e.g., living in an isolated suburb). Thus, our research questions are: (1) Do neighborhoods associated with boredom-inducing features have lower housing prices? (2) How do different individuals (e.g., with different levels of boredom proneness) value boredom-inducing neighborhood characteristics?
Fernando Calderón Figueroa
Graduate Student, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto
Assistant Professor, University of Missouri - Saint Louis
Graduate Student, University of Toronto