The U.S. government has been promoting homeownership too much lately. Before this recession, I believe that it was okay since everybody had steady job and could have more or less afforded the houses in which they lived in. Also the main argument was that the price of the house has always historically never gone down so people were pretty much satisfied with their long term investment. But now with more and more houses going underwater (meaning people owe more money on their mortgage than the house’s worth), homeownership does not sound like a good idea to me. Owning a house is just not signing mortgage papers and getting the keys to the house. It involves lots of things that the government fails to identify.
Apart from the above, there is maintenance, landscaping, renovation, utilities, water bills, parking your cars and many more. The mortgage just covers your interests, principal and property taxes. The rest is additional expenses that people even with jobs are struggling to make due to reduced pay and job loses and overall investment losses in the economy. So now the best idea right now for people with limited means to rent and wait this recession out. Otherwise as you know I am all for real estate ownership but the costs and expenses should be explained to people so that the unrealistic and inflated expectations should be toned down regarding the appreciation and other wealth generation concepts of the real estate.