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Monday, January 21, 2008
Author: Daniel McGinn
About This Book
Blending social commentary with reporting, House Lust is a funny and disturbing portrait of the behaviors that drove the greatest real estate boom in history—and its eventual bust.
Owning a home has long been considered the fulfillment of the American Dream. But in the last decade, as the real estate market boomed, Americans’ fascination with homes turned into a frenzy. Shelter has been transformed from a basic necessity into an all-consuming passion.
Newsweek’s Daniel McGinn travels the country to explore the roots of this mania. Even as the real estate boom has turned to bust, Americans remain obsessed with houses—many of us are still trading up, adding on, or doubling down to buy vacation property. But for others, this zeal for housing has carried a painful price, one that’s evident in the soaring foreclosure rates and mounting despair as millions of homeowners (and their lenders) realize they’ve stretched too far to buy the home of their dreams.
McGinn explores the arms race for square footage and introduces readers to a menagerie of characters from the real estate world—from “renovation psychologists” who treat remodeling-addled clients to a guy who trades vacation time-shares the way kids trade baseball cards. McGinn also jumps into the fray himself by enrolling in real estate school and buying an investment property, sight unseen, over the Internet.