Not surprisingly, the housing and mortgage crisis has affected Americans’ view of home­ownership. According to a 2009 survey [PDF] by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, almost half of all American adults no longer believe that homeownership is a realistic way to build wealth.

Other findings from the survey also reflect this new attitude toward homeownership:

  • Almost 33% of respondents don’t think they will ever be able to afford to buy a house.
  • 42% of respondents who once purchased a house, but no longer own it, think they will never be able to afford to buy another house.
  • Of those who still own a home, 31% do not think they will ever be able to buy a second home (i.e., upgrade their existing home or buy a vacation house).

The survey of 1,001 adults was conducted by phone. The full survey is available at

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.