I was a good little boy and did everything I was supposed to do. I went to college and graduate school. I took a job with mediocre pay but good stability. I kept my nose to the grindstone, saved a little, avoided credit-card debt and about five or six years ago I took out a low, fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage for a reasonably priced house in the suburbs of Atlanta.
“Owning is better than renting,” said the wisdom of the time. So my wife and I put down $12,000 for this three-bedroom, mid-century ranch with a fig tree, pecan trees and grapes growing out back. Cherry tomatoes also grew wild all summer long. My commute into the city was long, but there was plenty of space for a growing family. We even planted a garden. Peppers. Heirloom tomatoes. Corn. Idyllic, no?