Aside from owning a house for family/space purposes, what is the leverage when considering renting or buying. I have always been raised in a mindset of owning a house is a necessity, something that must be done. Why would you throw money at monthly apartment costs for the rest of your life? You can build equity in a home. Really? I believe, the cost-benefit is non-existent.
House - $200,000, over a 25 year mortgage you're likely to pay 1.5 times the cost of the house in interest. Taxes, on average $2,300/year. Utilities including hydro and gas, $150/month
Apartment, with the cost of renting increased yearly, let's set the monthly rental at $1,200 for an average.
Total: $477,500 - with renos, etc, cost would be moreso 500-600,000
Now, at the expense of renovations every 10 years or so of your house, yard care, etc...the Total for housing costs would end up being much greater in the end. Maybe after 25 years, your house sells for 25% more of its worth, maybe more, giving you 250, maybe 300,000 at the end. My numbers may be off slightly, but the cost of a house/payback in the end is equal – if not, more significant in costs over the same time period and return is not guaranteed.
So, I particularly don't believe houses or cars for that matter should be viewed as an investment, more-so a cost of living. Costs of each, obviously dependent on the lifestyle you choose.
Where I want to go with this is not simply, the cost of living vs investment… It's more an example of what humanity strives for: a life. A better life. It doesn't just happen here in North America. It happens everywhere, from a rural village in Cambodia to coffee farmers in Columbia to refugees in Africa. Would they be satisfied with owning a hut outside the refugee camp or would they strive to better their living conditions to a structured brick home with a tin roof or more? I think so. Same happens here in North America, we go from roommates in an apartment, to our own suite, then a better neighbourhood to maybe a house in the future with our spouse. Is it wrong of us to strive for more?
So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for people under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.
...From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
I think its worth recognizing that a home, regardless of type is being entrusted with much. Joy, the enjoyment of life, being glad: is reasonable and should not be felt as undeserved.