At the end of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, homeowners in many areas cashed in big profits when they sold. This enabled them to trade up to a bigger home, sometimes in a better neighborhood.

Homeowners used their homes as piggy banks through the use of home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) to buy cars, pay for vacations and medical bills, renovate their homes, and pay for college educations and retirement.

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