Are you house hunting? Home prices have been rising but are far off from their pre-housing bubble peak. Mortgage rates are also climbing -- they've increased 1 percentage point since touching record lows a year ago -- yet buyers can still borrow at super low rates of 4.37%, which is the average rate for a 30-year mortgage loan according to Freddie Mac.
There are many well-known positives of being a homeowner, such as laying down roots in a neighborhood, customizing the property to your liking, and, in theory at least, investing in long-term price appreciation.
[Click here to check home loan rates in your area.]
But James Altucher, investor, author and entrepreneur, argues that owning a home could be one of the biggest financial mistakes to make: "It is never, ever a good idea to buy a house," he says in the video above.
What's Altucher's beef with owning a home? "The house is totally illiquid, homeowners are trapped in a location, it's not easy to move and taxes and other fees go up faster than the price of inflation," he says. "There's no law that you have to follow the 'American Dream'."
There are plenty of people like Altucher who prefer the freedom and limited responsibilities that renters enjoy. Even after a grueling housing bust, however, owning a home retains a powerful allure, with potential buyers edging back into the market. More than 60% of all families still own the home they live in -- close to the historical average. And more buyers are needed to get the housing market officially back on its feet.
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