I've been wondering if owning a house is worth the effort to maintain one.
(I suppose that I should start by pointing out that I wouldn't care to buy a house now. At the very least I'd first like to see some sign that Greece has defaulted on its debt and will not pay its creditors. Or first I'd like to see the U.S. go bankrupt or actually pass a balanced budget. I suppose that even when the dramatic event that everyone [whose opinion I'd be interested in] seems to think finally comes, then there won't be a spectacular crash or pandemonium. But instead more of a resignation of being amid another great depression.)
Owning a house, even owning a mortgage, has definite advantages:
-a place to keep your stuff
-a place to do what you want with few-ish limitations
-can't get kicked out
There are also many drawbacks to owning a house, or mortgage:
-monthly payments for utilities
-the hassle of arranging utilities
-maintenance of the property
-repairs of the property
-long term commitment
-concern about resale
I find building equity much more appealing than essentially throwing it away. Even if I were fabulously wealthy I can't see owning a really big house, a big garage would be good, a bigger house means more to clean, maintain, and pay taxes on.
I don't know what I'll decide in the future, but I am struck by how few advantages to owning a house that I could think of.