CHICAGO (AP) – Oct. 12, 2009 – For all the doom and gloom about the housing market, it still generally pays to own a home.
That might be a tough case to make right now to the 16 million homeowners who owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth. But history suggests the American Dream is a pretty safe bet.
Homes have appreciated by an average of 4 percent a year since World War II. They act as hedges against inflation and bestow significant tax benefits. Real estate is a leveraged investment; a 10 percent downpayment produces a 1,000 percent return if the price of a home merely doubles.
Plus there are intangibles: Owning a home provides a sense of independence, security and community. And you get to live in your investment. You can’t do that with a stock.
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