Homeownership has long been a part of the American Dream. Whether your generation, your grandparents’ generation, or your great-great-grandparents’ generation, most people equate the thought of owning a home with achieving the right type of success. After all, owning property can help you build wealth, give you access to equity, and offer something tangible to be passed down for generations.

Better, an online lender and homeownership platform with a free mortgage calculator, compiled a list of 15 events and milestones in the history of the American mortgage system, using information from news articles, encyclopedias, and historical literature.

While the idea of homeownership is hardly a new one, mortgages—the tool many people use to reach this major milestone—are a relatively recent concept. In fact, the option to borrow money to purchase a home has only been around for a couple of hundred years. And mortgages, as we know them, have been around for

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