Originally Posted by LA Guy
Actually, a house is *not* an investment if you are living in it and plan on continuing to do so. It provides no income and comes with lots of costs. If you invest in real estate, well, that's something else altogether.
I think everyone who can afford to buy a home(this is a separate discussion) should go and buy one. Instead of giving your money to someone else in the form of rent, you are building equity. You get to write off the interest (a substantial sum over time). Because you have something to lose, you are forced into better personal financial habits. You can borrow money cheaper. Not always, but almost always, the value of your home tends to go up. It is, I think, the most effective ticket to upward social mobility.