Homeownership Is No Cure-All

Time to think about the costs, not just the perks, of owning a home
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2008 1:00 PM CST
The key to a stable society? Or a ball-and-chain?   ((c) KimonBerlin)
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(Newser) – One casualty of the housing bust may be the American belief that homeownership is the universal key to a strong economy and healthy society, writes James Surowiecki in the New Yorker. The idea that homeownership leads to greater investment in the community may be true, but owning a home in a rapidly changing economy means people "often stay in towns even after the jobs leave."

"Our veneration of homeowning," Surowiecki writes, "may also end up prolonging and deepening the current downturn." That doesn't mean homeownership should be discouraged, but it does mean that it's time "not just to scrutinize the excesses of our home-buying process but to recognize the risks and costs inherent in owning a home."