Soon after Leora’s second child was born and she and her husband began looking for a larger home, Israel's new real estate reality smacked them in the face. Though the couple had bought a two-bedroom apartment in Tel Aviv six years earlier that had appreciated to $650,000, more than triple what they paid, they still found themselves priced out of the local market. One apartment in a basement underneath a parking lot was listed at $468,000.
The American dream is owning your own home, and for more than half a century the government has encouraged home ownership through low-interest loans and tax breaks. Today, about two-thirds of American households own their homes. Or I should say, partly own them. Banks and other mortgage lenders own the other part. And here's the potential problem.
You see, homes are about the only assets whose value has increased during these bleak economic times. That's at least partly due to the fact that interest rates are at rock-bottom lows, meaning that a lot of people can now afford a mortgage to buy a home, thereby boosting the housing market.
You're rich. You're eyeing that million-dollar dream house. Is now a good time to buy it?