Originally Posted by Piobaire
I don't think homes should be viewed as a short or medium term growth investment but an investment they are. View more as an IRA type investment is my take.
I agree with this. For some people the forced "saving" becomes their only large asset, as long as they are not pulling money out as they accumulate equity. I think the mistake that many people made (make) is that when rates are falling they are on and off the re-fi merry go round, constantly re-setting their mortgage to 30 years. Most upwardly mobile people are better served by:
1. Buying only the house you can afford at the time without projecting future income
2. When you have an increase in income, re-fi to 15 years instead of another 30
3. Resist the urge to move up to bigger and better... make your house your home and continue to personalize and improve it, as long as you aren't too pressed for space
I switched to a 15, make additional principal payments and now it's timed to be done by the time all my kids are finished with college, or before. (Plus my total interest paid is reduced by over $200K)