To be honest, maybe we were just a little too smug. After all, we were the nation's homeowners, and we believed we deserved the riches and comforts that came with the title. We didn't sit on our hands in our rented apartments while our friends and family turned no down payment into undreamt-of riches. No, we ran the numbers, figured out the leverage and realized that homeownership was a can't-lose deal. So we applied for mortgages, and lenders let us borrow huge sums of money. We bought homes, made investments in real estate and celebrated as prices skyrocketed. We believed we'd earned our spacious backyards, three-car garages, fourth bathrooms and fifth bedrooms. We'd grabbed the brass ring, won the grand prize. We were better than all those other fools who hadn't had the guts or...
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