Strange as it might seem to lifelong urban dwellers or new transplants recently emigrating from, putting it as plainly as we can, just about anywhere besides the United States of America -- the old world rightly worried about the environmental costs and societal disrupt of sub divisions and exurbs (the third world lacking the resources necessary) -- our citizens truly do believe they’re bound to be handed the title to a single family residence so long as they work hard, keep down their credit card debt accounts, and avoid bankruptcy.

In a backwards sort of way, we could blame the national sense of entitlement upon the greatest generation: or, at least the GI Bill and the mortgage subsidies presented to returning servicemen by a grateful nation. Of course, those proud men and, to a point, women claiming title on their own slice of permanence intended to pass on their home to their children and even grandchildren, but the continual diaspora of wide roaming citizens has encouraged consumers to think of each dwelling as a temporary locale.

Admittedly, throughout the unprecedented economic expansion -- truly without even vaguely relevant comparisons for the whole of human history -- American home owners could be excused for assuming that the advantages of, say, owning a residence and amassing equity would far outweigh the consequences of a mortgage loan for any applicant possessing the credit and earnings and liquid assets sufficient for significant down payments. However, the recent precipitous decline in real estate around the country has severely shaken many economists’ certainty in the inevitability of property valuations as faith accomplished around all but the most aspirational coastal communities.

Even beyond the considerable market queasiness still depressing estimated pricing (an enormous economic drag further worsened by the surfeit of foreclosed dwellings idly waiting for auction by municipal officials), there are some signs that the current unease is only the beginning, as even the major banks have begun to press recalcitrant borrowers for debt settlement reductions in the hope of recovering some limited amount of their original financing.

Furthermore, the steady corrosion of lending eligibility criteria for residential underwriting which nearly sank the mortgage industry effectively capsized any lingering beliefs in the underlying respectability of first time home buyers. Much as the absolute collapse of the sub prime mortgage lending industry streamlined the equity trade, the particularly deserving free fall of the brokers brought down alongside the esteem with which Wall Street investment bankers held such less than savory debt notes and popped the bubble so gaudily over inflating appraisal prices.

Maybe, the blithe reluctance to meddle within residential lending arrangements formerly witnessed from federal trade boards -- seemingly too obsessed with rewriting the Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 guidelines so as to impel middle class citizens to avoid bankruptcy as a meaningful credit card debt relief solution -- has led directly to an exponentially increased bureaucratic surveillance of mortgage ventures, but do you really want to push all your chips to the middle of the table under an unshakable belief that home ownership would remain so very attractive? We’ve all leapt to acknowledge the sudden decrease in equity and appraised worth of estates large and small yet lingering on the market as a direct correlation of the bursting speculator bubble. Increasingly, though, realtors have begun to worry that the current decline is nothing more than a slippery slope without clear end.

Author's Bio: 

Cole Collins is a freelance writer in the field of personal finance with a concentration in consumer debt relief. For Help with debt please visit