but did want to respond to comment made by Troy at: IWOG that was my email.
Troy: You write, "If we go by monthly outgo, real estate is the #1 thing in nearly everyone’s life."
By that I assume you mean the number one expense. And you are correct according to the latest figures from the Federal Government's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But that is not the way it should be—the single largest component of the average budget, for most of us, should be retirement savings. Managed properly, a home purchase can contribute a substantial amount to the affordability of retirement if one simply plans to own one's home by that time (payoff the mortgage).
An often stated homily is: My home was the best investment I ever made. It speaks volumes, actually, about the person making the statement but, in fact, is often true simply because, until the advent of the 401k, it was the only investment most people ever made—VOLUNTARILY!
Social Security is keeping a lot of people off the streets but contributions are not voluntary.
But if one were to simply buy a house and stay put for the life of the loan, and assuming a steadily increasing gross pay, the percentage of one’s income consumed by housing would likewise, steadily decrease over time.
When I bought my first home, the mortgage payment was equal to 25% of my net (after-tax) income; ten years later, it was less than 10%.