Was it HGTV's "House Hunters", MTV's "Cribs" and all the other housing porn on TV?
Was it women's nesting instinct gone mad?
Was it men who had to keep up with other men?
Was it the mortgage brokers, realtors and builders convincing the sheeple that yes, indeed, they COULD have that dream home and have it now ("don't worry about the payments, you'll make a MINT in appreciation!")
Was it GenX and GenY trying to prove to their Baby Boomer parents that they were as successful as them?
Was it the Baby Boomers wanting to go out with a flash of glory?
Was it the 90's tax law revision that made housing gambling so tempting?
Whatever it was, I hope to never see it again in my lifetime. And the fact that it happened is now crashing the American and world economies.
Bottom line: If you make $50,000 a year you should probably live in a house that reflects that you make $50,000 a year. If you can't make a 20% down payment, you should rent. If your sense of self worth comes from a f*cking house full of Pottery Barn crap, I recommend you reconsider your sense of self worth.
And I especially hope the housing crash causes the REIC's poodles HGTV and TLC go off the air. That would be a start.