My husband and I have been married for nearly twenty years. We have worked hard for what we have, but we have experienced several knocks along the way. Before we were married we bought our first house; a small, two bedroom home in San Jose. We bought less than we could afford, but it was a struggle. Prices were so high in 1989. People were buying houses left and right. We were grateful we could even afford a home. But a few months after we bought our house, the real estate market dropped, and so did the value of our home. One advantage was that our property taxes were lowered due to the decrease in value of our house. Two disadvantages were that one, we were never able to refinance that house in order to lower our mortgage payments, and two, when we sold the house, while some areas were experiencing bidding wars, our home had barely reached the price for which we purchased it.