Remember the days when you could take a mortgage big enough to buy the house and furnish it, a car to park outside and a holiday to celebrate - all on a repayment schedule that only Methuselah could honor?
Those days have never gone away in pockets of Europe.
While countries like Spain and Ireland battle to reform the boom-era mortgage lending that has left millions of borrowers at risk of losing their homes, corners of the continent better known for their sturdy finances seem to be still lending as if the financial crisis never happened.
In the AAA-rated Netherlands, home to one of the earliest and biggest bailouts of the crisis - ABN Amro's 2008 rescue ultimately cost 30 billion euros - first-time buyers can still borrow up to 105 percent of the value of their new home and can get up to five and a half times their gross salary.
A deflating housing bubble means the Dutch government is now cutting back on some of the riskier mortgage products so the maximum amount lent will fall by 2018, but still only to 100 percent.
(Read more: Debt-crippled Dutchwake up to housing crash)
And in AAA-rated Sweden, a mortgage will outlast the youngest buyer, and their grandchildren.
Such disparities show the lack of coherence in the 28 lending markets that will become part of the region's grand banking union, which is designed to create a more harmonised financial system, though it is unlikely to have a direct impact on access to credit for citizens.
In Greece, banks will now only fund 70 percent of the house price compared with 100 percent before the crash, putting home purchase beyond the reach of most after six years of recession.
With an unemployment rate of nearly 27 percent, twice the euro zone average, young Greeks have to rent, if they can, or lean upon the hospitality of their parents - an uncomfortable compromise in a country that traditionally has had one of the highest home ownership rates in Europe.
"You have dreams and plans of starting a life together, and then reality hits you," said Vasiliki Dimitriadou, who lives with her husband in her parents' small, three-bedroom apartment in Athens.
Vasiliki, 32, lost her job at a nursery a year ago, and her husband, who works at a small construction company, fears for his job, too. Without cash, they can't afford to rent, let alone buy.
"There were things we took for granted, like having your own house, that are now a luxury," she said. "I don't see any light, our generation has been destroyed."
In Ireland, where the housing collapse all but took the country with it, lenders are taking a much tougher line.
(Read More: UK house prices leap to record high)
Where once a borrower could take up to five times gross salary, banks are now offering two to three times net income. The maximum loan is capped at 92 percent of the price of the house, down from pre-crisis peaks of 120 percent.
Transactions that used to be completed in four weeks now take three times as long.
"In the boom time there was no paperwork ... You'd tell the bank what your salary was and they wouldn't check up on it," said one Dublin-based broker. "Now it's all about the paperwork. You should see our files. It is like 'Lord of the Rings'."