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Why Should I Care?

You might still live in your parents' home—and, hey, maybe you plan to live there for the rest for your life. So why should you care about home ownership and mortgages?

Well, if the housing crisis of 2008–2009 taught us anything, it's that real estate affects the economy as a whole. The crisis basically made the bottom drop out of the economy, which means no jobs and lots of suffering (to put it simply).

On the other hand, lots of new houses being built and real estate being bought and sold can stimulate the economy and keep things from crashing and burning.

Sure, you might choose Mom's pull-out couch as your forever abode. (Please don't.) But knowing your options—and how those options affect the greater economic health of the U.S.—will keep you and the rest of the country from making mistakes that can't be undone.

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