Already millennials, because of their debt burdens and a pricy housing market, had been slow to dive into home ownership, a key way to build wealth. People like Michael Baum, who did manage to buy, fear they made their purchases at the exact wrong moment.

Just two weeks ago, Baum, a 33-year-old special needs teacher, moved into a new house purchased using money from his wedding and family savings in Plano, Illinois. While he still has work, his wife recently lost her customer service job in retail. They not only have a mortgage, but her student loans to pay off still.

“It could be a problem if the unemployment stops,” he said.


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