The Dream of Home Ownership

We've always been told that real estate is a sure-fire way to build wealth. After all, they aren't making any more of it, right? This simple kind of logic has resulted in more than a few people getting into real estate for the wrong reasons.

Let me give you an example.

I went to a seminar about how to get rich, put on by a well-known organization. The ads played upon the fact that the stock market in Canada has been performing poorly over the last few years and if you attended this seminar, you'd find out how to build wealth without having to worry about the machinations of the stock exchange. That sounded interesting, so I went.

The seminar leader began with this:

“Ladies and gentleman, I want you to get out a piece of paper and a pen and write down ‘I will purchase a property within six months of this seminar.’ Or, if you already own a property, ‘I will purchase a second property within six months.’”

This was in early 2012 and I thought to myself, “Is this guy serious? I think he's from the United States, but does he not know that more than 25% of U.S. single family occupied dwellings are ‘under water’ or worth less than the mortgage owing on them?” Buying real estate without the proper due diligence and financial analysis has been devastating for millions of Americans. It's even caught many who did all the right things but just got stuck with simple bad timing.

Well, he was serious.

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