The American dream is homeownership, not a tax deduction

Broker Notebook

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As of this week, I have been a homeowner for 25 years -- and in the same home, too. In the early years, we paid a lot of interest on our home loan. Rates were up around 9 percent, and the interest is front-loaded so that early mortgage payments mostly go to paying interest rather than principal. Those payments seemed huge and scary, too. We paid only about $100 more on our monthly mortgage payments than we'd been paying for rent. But we were not used to taking care of our own heat, water and trash bills. And there were other expenses, too. In those early days, we thought we were getting a mortgage interest tax deduction because we got this form in the mail from the mortgage company that showed how much interest we had paid. We sent the form along with the rest of our tax paperwork to our tax preparer. But now that I think about it, I doubt that we got a deduction, because I do not recall that we were able to itemize -- which is the only way to take advantage of the deductio...