Despite cost, homeowners prefer mortgages to landlords

In my Detroit-area neighborhood, there are almost no homes for sale. Out of more than 1,000 homes in a two-mile area there are probably only a half-dozen on the market.

Yes, you read that right. Downtrodden Detroit, Michigan, where real estate set new records for declines has neighborhoods where you can hardly buy a house because they've all been sold.

Seeing this makes me feel better about being a homeowner, even though the market value of my home has fallen. It gives me confidence in the opinion that I have long held -- that owning a home is smart.

A survey this week from Move.com suggested that home sales are up everywhere. According to the survey, nearly 10% of consumers nationwide say they plan to buy a home in the next two years, with 5.4 % planning to purchase in the next 12 months. Buyers say they are motivated by these factors: