Owning a home has tons of upside that’s not mentioned here. For one, there’s rental income, there’s financial leverage in the purchase and the ability to gain access to cash via the equity and invest that into other properties or into high yield investments. I’ve advised young people looking to buy to find the most affordable house in the nicest neighborhood they can acquire that is a duplex or has a guest house that can be rented out. In many cases, the rental income offsets the mortgage payment completely. If its freedom you’re seeking, traveling still requires housing costs unless you’re looking to camp out everywhere (campsites have costs too), so why not rent out your house while you’re away and offset those costs or even profit? Real Estate is a foundational wealth vehicle. In LA County, we’ve seen 7% annual increases (8% in Orange County). Even during the 2008 recession, many areas only saw a 10% dip and they’ve more than recovered. Renting will cost more and more over time, while a mortgage stays fixed and is actually decreasing in cost against the interest write offs and inflation. So many people here in Southern Cal bought homes in their early working years for under $80k, worked traditional jobs and upon retirement age were able to sell their homes for over $1M while enjoying very low property taxes along the way plus being able to transfer their property tax base to a new home. The bottom line is that while real estate may not be immediately liquid overall, there are vehicles for liquidity (Home Equity Line of Credit) and when choosing properly, its a safe bet on being a true asset, i.e. guaranteed to increase in value, especially over 10 years or more.