Have you been hearing this question in the Media a lot lately? It seems in every publication in the past 4 months that there has been an article questioning the "sense of home ownership".
Yet, almost without fail, these articles are missing the point about home ownership. Though it has(and I believe will always be) the basis for financial security and a sound investment, home ownership is so much more.
Unlike a rented house or apartment, where your use of the premises are limited by the landlord's guidelines, a purchased home allows you to use the home as suits your interest. Perhaps, you love dogs and want to have three cocker spaniels to play catch with in the back yard. Or you love to put your personal stamp on the place you live so you watch HGTV each week and every weekend re-decorate a room. Perhaps, you work with a charity and wish to store supplies and a trailer at your house. All this is possible with home ownership.
As Freedom is one our most treasured rights in America, home ownership has always allowed home owners to have the right to utilize a house as desired. Though we all must live by societal as well as municipal guidelines/laws, there is plenty of latitude to live on your own terms....terms that just aren't possible in a rental.
Besides your personal freedom, your ownership of a home contributes to the stability of your city. Neighborhoods with high home ownership retain their value and contribute to safety, great schools,improved civic responsibility versus neighborhoods with high rental activity. Simply drive through a neighborhood known to be full of home owners to see well-maintained and updated homes with attractive and even manicured lawns...this is true whether the homes be 1000 sq.ft. bungalows or 4000 sq.ft. colonials!!!
Whether a neighborhood of bungalows or larger colonials, a neighborhood with high rentals tend to have the exact opposite characteristics.
Further, home ownership contributes to community pride, extended to state and national pride. Owning a home causes the feeling that one has "a stake in the future" and something "to protect". Thus, participation in elections, running for local or national office, volunteering in the community or at the school is common among home owners. They know the value of their home is contingent on the strength of the community and the stability of both local and national policies.
Yes, this interest in the value of your home will cause you to worry about present moves to eliminate the mortgage deduction. It will make it harder for some, especially first time homeowners, to buy a home. It hurts the investment strategy a bit also.
Yet, the monetary value of a home isn't its only value to you or the community you live!!
Be thankful you "invested" in a home....its best returns will never be seen in a financial statement!