Talk about not seeing the forest through the trees.  I uploaded my big Part II macro analysis of the benefits of homeownership when I realized how narrow minded and short sighted my own response was. In an effort to try and provide the kind of technical insight best left to pros like Adam and Matt, I ignored the bigger economic picture and focused on what mattered most: HOUSING IS AN ESSENTIAL INVESTMENT IN THE AMERICAN  ECONOMY

Homeownership is more than down payment, interest rates, tax deductions, yearly appreciation, deferment of capital gains, asymetrical liquidity and divisibility of assets.  I was reminded of that when I received a Merry Christmas thank you call from a client who brought in the new year living in their dream home.

They already bought furniture, appliances, homeowner's insurance and are getting estimates for a pool in the summer, as well as interviewing landscapers for some spring planting.  They will purchase home cleaning products, gardening tools, window coverings, knick knacks, and plan to customize the color scheme in each room.  They already contributed to an impound account that will ensure on time payment of state property taxes, providing some relief to the state budget constraints on public education, trash services, water services, higher education, police services, fire protection, higher education and on an on.

To Ms. Pence and the others who agree with her that housing is a lousy investment I ask you this:  How will that diversified portfolio look if people stop investing in homes and purchasing the products and services associated required to maintain the investment of homeownership?How will state governments reconcile budgets if property taxes are delinquent right along with mortgage payments. How many more jobs will be lost in housing related industries if current inventory isn't cleared and new houses aren't built?

How many times have we heard on this website these words:
This started with housing, and it will end with housing.

It'svery ironic that Mrs. Pence plans to purchase a home herself.  Why? So her husband can get a dog and do some gardening. Apparently she can't have dogs in her apartment, and there is no yard to garden. Which means she'll be buying some dog dishes, a leash, dog food, a hoe and some topsoil....and maybe in the end she'll realize when she's throwing the frisbee across the yard by the rose garden her husband planted that home buying isn't such a lousy investment