No. of Recommendations: 6
If I buy a house with a 10 year mortgage and live in it the entire 10 years - at the end of that time I have a house that's paid in full, no monthly housing expense, and the ability to sell it and recoup at least some, all, or more than what I paid out.

You still have some monthly housing expenses. You may not owe a mortgage, but you still need to pay property taxes, utilities, repair and upkeep costs, etc, etc.

If I rent for those 10 years, at the end I have...next month's rent due. Since you can in essence "get back" some of the money spend on buying a house - how can rent be a "Foolish" option?

Because buying a house generally costs more than renting the same thing. This is particularly noticable when it comes to upfront costs, where you might have to make a 20% downpayment, pay closing costs, points, etc. When you buy a house, you are paying for use of the property plus the right to sell and realize a profit. When you rent, you are paying for use of the property, but someone else is keeping the possible profit.

The "ownership-premium" that you are spend to own a house is money you are not investing elsewhere. This is particularly noticable when you are talking about upfront costs in the $10's of thousands, plus high transaction costs when you do sell.

That's not to say that you shouldn't own, but my opinion (and, I think, the Foolish consensus (if such a thing is possible)) is that you should buy a house because you want to, not for purely financial reasons.

JDOyster
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