The real economics of homeownership

Book Review: 'Houseonomics'

Book ReviewTitle: "Houseonomics: Why Owning a Home Is Still a Great Investment"Authors: Gary N. Smith and Margaret H. SmithPublisher: FT Press, 2008; 240 pages; $17.99 list ($14.03 on week, I read a New York Times article that gave me pause. The premise was that many of the penny-pinching and belt-tightening measures Americans have implemented would stick around for a generation. The quote that caught my eye in particular was from a young, single female attorney, who expressed that the mortgage/housing/foreclosure crisis had changed her opinion that homeownership was an inherently valuable experience. She said that now she was OK with being a lifelong renter.As a real estate broker, that comment was like a blow to my solar plexus.But I understand her concern, and immediately thought, "Homeownership, as an American ideal, needs to step its game up and justify itself." Apparently, I was late. In their 2008 book, "Houseonomics: Why Owning a Home Is...