Can real estate make you rich?

By Marcie Geffner -

House flippers weren't the only ones who lost big when the real estate market crashed. Plenty of consumers lost their down payment, their home equity and their homes.

So is a home a good investment? Or is it only a place to live and a nice tax write-off for those who can claim the federal mortgage interest deduction?

Housing is still a way to build wealth, but that's typically only achieved over the long term, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of

"You don't know what the long-term value of your home ultimately will be," says Gumbinger, "but odds are that at some point down the road, you'll have some stake, some equity component of your home."

Read on: