The current state of homeownership in Middle Tennessee, especially my home county of Rutherford, reminds me of why homeownership is important to a community.
Our nation was founded in no small part upon the dream of homeownership. Being able to escape from the tyranny dealt out from slumlords (and in some cases real Lords) many of our ancestors embarked on a journey where they could create a better life for their families through the possession and rights of land and property ownership.
Why was this important? Since time immemorial, those who own and control land and its resources rule. When the landlords needs more money... they raise rents. You rent? You pay!
You complain about something and make trouble? Well, remember the Golden Rule? Not "the golden rule". I'm talking about the rule that says "He who has the gold, rules!" You get the picture.
It's really very simple to control a real estate market if you know how to play the game. It's like a high-stakes poker game where to play you have to be able to afford the "stakes" of entry.
These few entities sell and resell "bundles" of single-family properties at inflated values and impact local market values. This forces many families to rent as opposed to own. Why? Because they cannot afford the cost to own homes themselves.
In many ways, Real Estate Investment Trusts have become the "Mr. Potter's" of the 21'st Century. George Baily says it best, I think: "Shame on Mr. Potter."