OpinionIndustry News

Is owning a home still cool?

Perspective: Consumerism is wrong-headed psychology for housing

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Which is more important: To buy a home or own a home? The answer naturally depends on one's point of view. Real estate and mortgage brokers may argue that buying is paramount and owning is simply a byproduct. The argument makes sense because these pros don't earn any income unless someone buys or borrows. On the other hand, the subprime borrowers who can no longer afford their mortgage payments might be ready to admit that buying really isn't as golden as owning. The disconnect between the two points of view is evident in the rising rate of loan defaults and foreclosures, some of which are no doubt due to such unexpected setbacks as divorce, disability or job loss, but others of which were the very foreseeable result of foolhardy financial decisions. True, the loan products were complicated and disclosures weren't as clear as they should have been. But a mortgage isn't a credit card or car payment. It's a long-term financial commitment, and, as has been so often said, it's the biggest...