As of this writing, U.S. home prices have seen 42 consecutive months of year-over-year home price appreciation. This valuation increase has simultaneously helped bring millions of American homeowners out from underwater on their mortgages, while also setting the stage for a resurgence in home-equity lending. It has not been an easy road to this point. The recent housing, mortgage and credit crises have wreaked significant damage on both the American economy and the economic psyche of Americans. That damage is only now starting to feel like a thing of the past.