Why bother arguing with folks about this? Everyone’s has his/her own opinion, and he/she isn’t going to change his/er opinion. It doesn’t really matter what he/she “thinks”. Waste of time and energy, and we all know what’s going to happen. I had a coworker that use to tout what a great deal renting for 10-15 years was. I won’t go there either.
Regarding your co-worker’s comment….My observation would be that while several home owners “had” equity, a lot of them refinanced to buy all sorts of material possessions, and now don’t have the financial means to juggle credit card and balloon mortgage debt.. I would say this probably happens in areas where the average household income isn’t that great and/or don’t have great pay jobs, but still felt they could finance their way into BMW’s, iphones, etc.
Americans love to spend money they don’t have. You know, the buy now, pay later mentality. Again, not everyone is like this , but I would say that would be a good portion. I cannot believe how many people that drive expensive cars take out ridiculously expensive leases for example.
The only thing more sickening would be to expect a government bailout of some sort.