Potential home buyers have a two-step decision process. First, they determine whether they can afford to make a purchase - does their income safely cover their mortgage payment? Then they determine whether owning is a better financial choice than renting - are the costs of owning a home lower than the cost of renting it?
It's time to pull the bandage off America's foreclosure problem. The economy is ready to emerge from its recent dark period, but to make it happen soon we need to speed the resolution of millions of troubled home loans. Six years have passed since the crisis began, yet instead of accelerating, foreclosures have slowed.
There is plenty of blame to go around for the U.S. housing bubble, but not much of it belongs to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The two giant housing-finance institutions made many mistakes over the decades, some of them real whoppers, but causing house prices to soar and then crater during the past decade weren't among them.