It’s hard not to be influenced by your family and friends. After all, their opinions hold more weight because you trust them. When someone you love recommends something, you’re probably more likely to consider it than had you heard it from another source. It doesn’t matter if it’s a restaurant, a new movie, or a vacation destination, if a friend tells you it’s good, you’ll likely believe them. This is also true when deciding to buy a house. At a panel convened by the National Association of Realtors, Dr. Johannes Stroebel – an associate professor of finance at New York University – talked about why that is. According to Stroebel, a recent paper looked at how the positive experiences of people close to us can influence our decision to buy. The research showed that having a Facebook friend who experienced a 5 percent increase in their home’s value over the past two years increased the probability that a current renter would purchase a home over the next two years. “Individuals do discuss property value with their friends, and this changes behavior,” Stroebel said. In short, if you have a friend who’s seen their home’s value rise, you’re more likely to believe buying a house is a good investment. More here.