Does Homeownership Live up to Hype?
(Smart Money) — For generations of Americans,It’s a Wonderful Lifepretty much sums up the benefits of home ownership. George Bailey takes over his father’s savings and loan in Bedford Falls, builds Bailey Park, an idyllic affordable-housing development, and issues mortgages. In the alternative universe where George never lived, there’s no savings and loan or Bailey Park; the townspeople have fallen into debauchery as tenants of the usurious Henry Potter; and quaint Bedford Falls, now renamed Pottersville, is home to sleazy nightclubs and pawnshops. Director Frank Capra’s vision has dominated public policy ever since. Republicans and Democrats have competed to extol home ownership as a sound investment and source of moral virtue, stability and community.