Well, this makes me feel better.
Sometimes I could kick myself for buying a 155 year old home. Especially when I have to try and install square sheets of drywall on VERY unsquare ceilings and walls. NOT fun.
The New York Times has a cost calculator at nytimes.com/interactive/business/buy-rent-calculator.html, comparing rental pros and cons with ownership pros and cons. Looks like buying a home gets you ahead in the finances than renting.
But not by much. :-p
Part of the reason for the less than stellar return rate, I think, is the severe drop in housing values and the severe rise in property taxes. I purchased my home for $62,5 over 13 years ago. It is now valued at $87,0 for taxation purposes, but I could never get that amount should I sell it right now. The market is bad, and no one wants a fixer upper. I do renovate it with the expectation that the market will improve, but I renovate mostly because the house needs the improvements, and we want to live comfortably and efficiently. Still, even though I have no intention of selling, it would be nice to know that my home is increasing in value as I improve it….