The American dream is a goal we’ve all heard of at some point in our lives. This dream involves raising a family, building a successful career, and (most importantly some would have us believe) owning a home. Everybody dreams about owning a home and it’s marketed as the biggest asset in life.

But is owning a home really the biggest asset in life? You start paying the mortgage and equity begins to build, but you have to remember that the typical mortgage spans 30 years. Who really stays in their homes long enough to reach that 30-year mark to have their house become a full asset nowadays? With house maintenance and the fluctuating value of the housing market coupled with how long someone stays in their home, a house can actually be a liability on the balance sheet and an expense on the income statement.

Think about it. The upkeep of a house is a constant. A good rule of thumb is to estimate maintenance at roughly 1% of the value of a home each year. Until the house is paid off, you have this huge debt called a mortgage along with sunken costs of maintaining a functioning home such as water heater replacement or kitchen appliance replacement. That’s money down the drain to increase the value of the home minimally if not downright just maintaining the value of your home.

Plus, gone are the days when everybody just buys a home they live in forever. A buyer of a single-family home tends to stay in that particular home for about 13 years in this day and age. And…

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