If a single person or a couple knows where they want to live and how much they can afford to pay for a mortgage each month then it is wise to look into a house of their own. However, one must be realistic and not go into too much debt.
Home ownership can be a realistic goal for many, if not most people. However, people need to be realistic in terms of where they want to live, and what sort of house they're going to get. The average person isn't going to be able to afford a huge, move-in ready house in the best neighborhoods. Chose a lesser neighborhood, or a fixer upper though, and you can own your own home.
I do think home ownership is a realistic goal, but I think it needs to be done the way it used to instead of with gigantic predatory loans. You need to save up for years, have good credit, and take a loan out from the bank that you pay back.
I think home ownership for most people is still a realistic goal. Although house prices appear to be rising faster than wages, for the most part, houses in the majority of areas are still within the means of an average working couple, and the costs of buying are comparable to renting a similar property..
At he risk of sounding cynical, I don't think I'll be able to afford a house, unless I become rich. The price of houses are going to continue to skyrocket and I would probably need a $200,000 down payment on a home if I want one when I'm, say, 30. At least based on some of the articles I've read. I think my parents house will be the last house I live in.
For a lot of people who actually would benefit from home ownership, it simply is not a realistic goal at this time. A lot of people have unpaid medical bills that went unpaid because they couldn't afford health insurance and they couldn't afford to pay their medical bills either. This has created a whole group of people that won't qualify for home loans. The number one problem with home ownership is the inability to obtain a low and being stuck in a low-wage job. Both of these make home ownership an impossibility for a large part of the American population.