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THE BIG FIX

How to survive the bust. Buy, sell, rent, move, or wait it out?

Mom? Dad? I'm home

December 28, 2007|BY GUSTAVO ARELLANO | Gustavo Arellano, a contributing editor to Opinion, is author of "¬°Ask a Mexican!"

Remember the days of homesteaders, when generations lived under one prairie-sod roof? That all-American ethos still exists among many Latinos, whether packing five families into a one-bedroom apartment or children who don't leave the casa until marrying at 35. Call it antiquated, retrograde, how the other half lives -- I say it's the solution to our housing crunch.

Room again for a few years with Mom, Dad, the sis and her wimpy husband -- and see your appreciation for open space and public gathering spots surge. Save your money as you watch housing prices fall. Watch neighborhoods transform into vibrant communities as young and old, rich and retired, compete for parking. Imagine the family unit returning as this country's primary government -- where civilization is maintained by scolding abuelitas.

The dynamics take getting used to -- timing bathroom use, for instance, or maintaining a romantic relationship when you share bunk beds with your little brother. But if Latinos can pull it off, why can't everyone else?

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