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Personally, I've always treated real estate as an expense to be minimized rather than an investment.

Personally, I bought a condo in downtown Boston in 1980 for $65,000. It's now worth over $700,000, and it's in rental, for which I get a check every month of $2,950 (of which around $1,800 is profit.) Better than that, the price of real estate/condos there is still going up about $5-8% a year, so it's been one of my best investments over the past 30 years, perhaps my best once you include the tax breaks and benefits.

Once we paid off our mortgage we found our net worth increasing much faster than before. Of course that was before the days of 3% home loans, but even at 6% it was worth it not to have to send out a check every month.
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