I am in the final stages of selling a home that I have lived in for almost 35 years. Purchase price was $67K. Hoping to close at $277K, but those numbers are not the whole story.
Home improvements (landscaping, additions, remodels, and replacement of original components have cost close to $100K plus interest over those years. Recent costs (getting the home ready for sale) were close to $25K. Property taxes collected by my town over 35 years were close to $150K. Insurance costs close to $30K. Mortgage interest (financed and refinance the property) costs totaled $100K.
Had I rented instead of owned, my housing costs (average $1K / month over 35 years) would have been about $350K. So maybe...just maybe... "owning" (the bank owed the home most of the 35 years) my property was a break even proposition financially.
Had I put $10K into VFINX 35 years ago (a portion of the 20% down payment on the $67K sale price I had to come up with) that investment would be worth $436K. If I had invested in the entire 20% ($14,400) it would have grown to $628K.https://portfoliovisualizer.com/backtest-portfolio#analysisResults
Here's a conversation on the topic (at the 5 minute mark):
For most people, your house is your biggest asset and also your biggest liability. So it’s understandable to think about the financial implications of the most significant purchase you’re ever going to make. But a home is about more than what you buy it for and what you think it will be worth in ten years.