Here's a quick reality check. I just saw the "I am not poor because" thread and thought this for the umpteenth time: Wait, I am poor. Net worth, all-in, I won't go into details... but yes, I am poor. I've got good credit, I've got good cash-flow, but full disclosure folks, if I didn't, I'd be up sh1t's creek. Subtract my debt from the value of the things I own, and um yeah, it turns out I'm a poor man with a six-figure salary. So if you were plinking along on a lower salary, and just kept renting during the two thousandsies, ya got more than I do. What did people actually do in the two thousandsies? An awful lot did what I did, with the assurance that real estate really didn't actually lose value that often, and that when it did, it tanked by 10%, locally, then recovered in a couple years. Everybody's got their own story. But I wonder for how many the answer is "I'm not poor because... I consider income, credit, and the ability to catch up to be 'wealth'."