Squeeze Play at Home

High prices and costly mortgages force people to modify their living styles

Patricia Roberts, 32, a Federal Reserve Board researcher in Washington, decided that homeownership even before marriage was the best way to beat inflation. As a single person, her $24,000-per-year salary put her in a relatively high tax bracket, and she lacked the tax benefits of owning a house. The trouble was that she could not meet the steep mortgage payments required for homes in the expensive Virginia suburbs. Her friend Suzanne Reed, 30, who works for the House Republican Research...

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