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[Solid Masonry] A House Is A Home It Is Not An Investment

John Philip Mason is a residential appraiser with 20 years experience and covers the Hudson Valley region of New York. He’s a good friend and a true professional who believes that all appraisers need to have a macro-economic perspective in order to be effective. This week, his lecture gets us comfortable in the doghouse in Solid Masonry. …Jonathan Miller


I’m not sure when it started or who said it first, but it’s been driving me crazy for years. And now that real estate prices appear to be declining, maybe I can finally get some respect for a pet peeve of mine. It’s a concept that’s been thrown at us so many times and from so many directions, people have come to believe it’s true. It’s been spouted by well regarded financial analysts, high ranking government officials, the media, almost every real estate agent on the planet, and even our own parents. It’s even been cited by some pretty smart people. Not that any of the fore-mentioned are dumb (I love you, Mom).

Countless Americans would shout me down and, surely, I am in the minority. But my faith and conviction keep me strong and I know that I am not alone. Although, if the truth be told, I personally don’t know anyone who agrees with me. None the less, this is my post, damn it, and what matters most is I believe.

And here it is: A house is a home. It is not an investment.

There, I said it. With those few simple words, I can sense the displeasure of the masses (there’s no ego here is there?), feel their passions rising to a boiling point and anticipate the hate mail that is formulating in the minds of all those “non-believers.” (Or perhaps they refer to me as the non-believer.) Before you start throwing darts, please consider the following:

This is not to say that one can’t buy a house and rent it out as an investment. I just think we are kidding ourselves if we continue to think of our primary residence as an investment. So while I enjoy our home, despite any work it needs, it is simply that, our home. We can’t eat it. It doesn’t work for us. It is simply our little piece of the world.

And at the end of the day, no matter what kind of a day it was, we can go home. Because a house is a home, it is not an investment.