On home ownership:
Home ownership is a wonderful thing. My family and I have enjoyed my present home for 50 years, with more to come. But enjoyment and utility should be the primary motives for purchase, not profit or refi possibilities. And the home purchased ought to fit the income of the purchaser.
This backs up a belief I’ve developed over the last couple years – a home is a place you live, and not an investment. Investing should be done objectively; very rarely are home’s bought and sold objectively. Investments are purchased only the time is right (cheaply priced, hopefully); Houses are purchased when they are needed (e.g. a family grows to large for the space, or a new job is in a new location.) Investments are (supposed to be) sold as soon as the required gain is attained, or loss threshold is reached – but it’s not possible to do this with your house, due to the emotion and inability to sell at a moment’s notice, not to mention you still need a place to live.
Remember: It’s always best to separate emotions and investing.