When a place to live is a way of life

As I’ve mentioned before, I live in a Connecticut city that is convenient for people who work in New York. Naturally, over the years property developers have seized on this and erected various apartment buildings within walking distance of the train station, many of which market themselves as “luxury” complexes.

A home would seem to me the type of good that stands on its own merits, the demand for which can’t be impacted much by clever marketing and hype. Though I’ve never been a home owner, I’d assume the main factors people take into consideration in making a purchase would be things like the quality of the construction, the attractiveness of the school district, property tax rates, the prevalence of crime in the area, proximity to public transportation, etc. That’s different from a car, for instance, which is a good that lends itself to all sorts of marketing and branding opportunities that don’t really have much to do with the car’s specs or performance. For many of us our choice of car is about style and personality. The point is that it seems easier for an individual, rightly or wrongly, to make a public statement about oneself to others by means of a car than it would be to signal the same thing by one’s choice of apartment building.

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