The rules for buying a home, seven years ago

Here is one writer’s take on the rules for buying a home circa 2005:

The old-school home-buying rules (well, not your granny’s old school, more like 7 years ago old school) told us:
A. To buy as much home as we could afford, ahem, qualify for, with as little money down as possible.
B. To buy the biggest McMansion in the neighborhood so everyone would know we “made it.”…
C. We’d always make money, because homes “always appreciated.”

While I haven’t seen rules like these formally written down, I suspect many observers would agree that these rules were commonly followed (if not formally written) and helped lead to the current economic crisis. However, I wonder how many people actually followed these rules. In other words, what percentage of mortgages actually qualified as A? How many people actually bought their homes for the primary reason to show people they “made it”? What percentage of homes lost money between 2005 and 2012? Since I suspect 100% of home purchases did not meet these criteria, how much does the common narrative fit what actually happened?

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