Maybe You Shouldn't Own a Home

Wake up, America: Not everyone can afford the white picket fence
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2008 3:08 PM CDT
A sign showing a foreclosed house is seen in Glendale, Calif. is seen in this August 20, 2007 file photo.    (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
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(Newser) – Should all Americans own their dream home? Not really, writes Joshua Riner in the New Republic—only those who can afford one. But Washington made homebuying easy, sparked the subprime crisis, and is now making things worse by buying up risky mortgages. Officials "need to replace the dream of homeownership with policies that actually increase wealth—not just the illusion of it," writes Riner.

"For the past decade, Americans have increasingly relied on the appreciation of their homes to support themselves, creating an unsustainable and destabilizing economic mirage," Riner writes. "Homeownership is a social good as long as it allows buyers to build equity—an investment not only in their house but in their community—but a home without equity is really just a rental with debt."