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Housing is not an investment. It's an expense.

Sure, if you rent. But like any other investment, when you own a home it can either appreciate in value or decline, just like stocks. In the case of real estate there is at least a fixed benefit of alternative value as housing. Try finding some benefit to a stock when it tanks.

If you make money on your home, you are lucky.

I don't sneer at "luck," but I've always defined luck as having the smarts to recognize an opportunity and the chutzpa to take advantage of it. We have lived in some places where we decided not to buy...the numbers dictated the risk was too high, but even when I "lost" money on the sale of a property, if I factored in the rent I would have otherwise paid, I was far ahead. Or I rented the property out until the market rebounded to the point where we made money.

The mistake is in letting a house own you...owning more house than you can comfortably afford. This restricts your ability to wait for a better market to sell. I've done the same with stocks...held on to them until a rebound happens. Just make sure your options are open.

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