Houses Aren't Just For Couples

From the time she graduated from college in 1993, Annie McDonnell dreamed of owning her own home. She liked the idea of building equity rather than "throwing away money on rent" and living without landlord restrictions on her cat and dog. To save for a downpayment, McDonnell lived rent-free with her parents on Long Island, N.Y., and commuted to Scholastic Publishers in Manhattan, where she is a production editor. Last December, McDonnell, 29, bought a two-bedroom ranch near her parents. "It feels great to own my own home and do whatever I want to it," she says.

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