Owning our home was all that kept my family from losing everthing during the Great Recession (2008+), Amethyst. We were able to take advantage of a special government program that paid our mortage for a year and a half, tax-free when my husband and I were laid off and umemployed long term.

When the economy bounced back, we sold that house for over four times what it cost us, started a new life in a less expensive state and bought a new home with cash with enough leftover to wipe out all our lingering debt and put some in savings. We are in a much better position in our sixties for having purchased a home in our thirties. There's no question about that. Since buying our new home in 2017, it's already increased

For home ownership to work, you have to be smart about it. You have to look beyond your immediate future and choose based on the long haul, at least if you plan to stay for a while. What changes you make to the home should increase its value should you suddenly need to sell. A pool, for instance, can make a home hard to sell in certain areas.

Location, location, location. How stable is your job? Do you have an emergency fund? What's your back up plan if you lose your job? Are you in a flood plain?

I knew an older couple in the SF Bay Area about 10 years ago who were very smug about having sold their home and become renters. They were saving money because, with the recession, rents were still low. The city had lots of mom and pop landlords who were being compassionate.

Then things started to improve and their rent kept jumping up. Mom and Pop sold out to house flippers and investors who were not so compassionate. Suddenly, their brilliant plan wasn't so brilliant. If they'd held on, they could have sold their home for twice as much and had control over the situation. I believe they had to move out of town because they could no longer afford to live there. When they gave up their home, they diminished the power they had over their future.

Property affords you power. Our system favors property owners. When you rent, you have very little power over your housing situation. Power and money are all about choices. It's been my expereince that choices are good to have. Our new house, bought in 2017, has already increased in value over 40%.

This pen’s for hire, even if I’m just writing in the dark. Find me at denisesheltonwrites.com.