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Homeownership: The Great American Myth?

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To rent or to buy? It's the eternal real estate question -- but one which always ultimately ends with the purchase. One does not rent indefinitely unless one is transitory and doesn't want to invest in the capitalist future of our great country and their own socio-economic permanence... right? Going into massive debt to own shit you can't necessarily afford -- it's the American way! But Mark Morford doesn't seem to agree. "Buying a house is no more a prerequisite to achieving the American Dream than is, say, opening your own steakhouse or marrying a porn star or hoarding piles of stock in GM." Blasphemy! Or, um, is it? The tax incentives, write-offs, equity buildup and sense of entitlement in the checkout aisle perusing the shelter magazines don't add up to make a whole lot of dollars and sense. So let's just hope the rental market heads down, for the benefit of those three-quarters of city residents who choose transience. That being said, there are some pretty sweet bank-owned deals on the market right now, for those of you who remain unconvinced.
· Why buy a house? [SF Gate]