Your thinking about buying a home?  Your unsure of the market and whether or not home ownership is a good investment.  Yes, the real estate market took a nose dive several years back but in areas like Charlotte, NC the market is booming.  Homes are selling fast and in some cases above the asking prices.  The economy itself fluctuates greatly on a weekly basis.  This week is good, last week was better and next week will be down.  However, owning property is still your best long term investment.