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Rediscovering the American Dream

Perspective: A plan to restore home ownership's glory days

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Home ownership has enjoyed a well-deserved reputation as a crucial component of the so-called "American Dream." But for many people, home ownership is now perceived more as a nightmare than an essential element of the (admittedly somewhat mythical) "good life" that could be attained in the United States. Whether that negative perception is based on valid fears or little more than irrational overreactions to today's market correction, it's nonetheless a paradigm shift that should be of concern to anyone whose livelihood depends on real estate. The perception of home ownership as a nightmare is easily understood given these realities:  A tsunami of foreclosures has forced large numbers of people out of homes they couldn't afford.Many homeowners now owe more than their home is worth or more than they can afford to repay. Whatever equity they had has evaporated or been misspent.Despite foreclosures and fallen prices, housing is still relatively unaffor...