Has the American dream evolved from 1950s suburbia to “vulgaria” today? Urban Planning Professor Paul Knox (Virginia Tech) explores conspicuous consumption and communities of gigantic houses in contemporary upper-middle class suburbia. His new book is Metroburbia, USA. Also: While owning a home is still part of the great American dream, most of us are novices when it comes to navigating a typical real estate transaction. Real Estate Professor Bennie Waller (Longwood University) says too often the incentives of the agents, lenders, appraisers and inspectors are not closely aligned with those of the homebuyer.