The Myth of the Real Estate Pioneer

Speculating in unknown or unsafe neighborhoods is a risky game.

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Staiger says the current availability of cheap mortgages—Federal Housing Authority mortgages rates are currently below 4 percent—compel people to make speculative bets in questionable neighborhoods.

"It shouldn't be easy," to get a mortgage, Staiger says. "A home is a gift that keeps on taking, a depreciating asset."

"We're already recreating the sins of the past," he adds, referring to the speculation of the last decade that led to the real estate bubble. "The American psyche of ownership still has not changed."