What I understand from the research I've done is that the housing market has just about matched inflation over the long term, whereas the stock market has done the best of any investment in any 20 year (or so) period. I'm not just talking about the latest crash, but the scope of the last 120 years. Why do we still want to think of home ownership, and not wealth building, as the "American Dream" to the point where we are still, after the burst of a painful boil/bubble, allowing people to borrow more than they can afford? Personally, I have no desire nor aptitude for home repair and condos seem far riskier than index funds. Why not throw some money away by renting and invest more in the stock market, rather than just barely keep afloat by paying a mortgage and throw money away repairing a home?