Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller contends that spending your hard-earned cash on a sprawling McMansion in the suburbs is just a big waste.
Buying a home in general isn't a great investment, the Yale University professor told The Wall Street Journal.
"Big houses are a waste. People are still in a mode of thinking about houses that is kind of 19th century. As we modernize, we don't need all this space," Shiller told the Journal.
However, many people view a large home as a sign of status symbol of success.
Regardless of income, living on less than you can afford is one of the best ways to increase your chances of building long-term wealth, WSJ.com explained.
Shiller said advanced technology has replaced the need for extra space in our homes.
"For example, we don't need elaborate kitchens, because we have all kinds of delivery services for food. And maybe you don't need a workshop in your basement, either. You used to have a filing cabinet for your tax information, but now it's all electronic, so you don't need that, either. And bookshelves, for people who read a lot. We have electronic books now, so we don't need bookshelves anymore," Shiller said.
"Having a big house is a symbol of success, and people want to look successful. People have to know about your achievements. How do you know, really? Who knows what people are doing in their day job? But you do see their house."
Meanwhile, U.S. household wealth rebounded to a record in the first quarter as the stock market recovered from a plunge in the prior period, supporting consumers after Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes and trade-war shocks rattled investors late last year.
Net worth for households and non-profit groups increased by $4.69 trillion, or 4.5%, to $108.6 trillion after a 3.7% drop in the prior period, Federal Reserve data showed earlier this month.
Household debt growth slowed to a 2.3% annual pace, the least since late 2015, from a 2.8% rate in the prior quarter.
Non-mortgage consumer credit increased at a 4.3% pace, slower than the prior two quarters but still signaling Americans are willing to borrow as interest rates remain relatively low.
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