How many times have you had a conversation that started something like this: "Yes, I have just sold my home for $100,000 more than I paid for it five years ago. I made soooooo much money from my house. However, all those loser renters have missed out"

Invariably, the house-owner has spent little time contemplating the wider cost of house ownership. However, we no longer have to go through the tedious exercise of explaining that there are such things as utilities, local taxes, and realtor commissions. All we have to do now is refer them to this site.

the last few months, for a fleeting moment, I have occasionally re-examined the possibility of buying. After all, "prices are coming down", I say to myself and at some point, "it has to make good financial sense to buy".

However, the question remains in my mind for about as long as it takes to put in some numbers into a mortgage calculator and wait until the computer returns with the monthly mortgage repayment. Despite recent price declines, housing ownership numbers still don't come within a mile of making it better than renting. Mortgage costs are still way out of line relative to rents. When all the other housing-related costs such as repairs, and taxes are included, owning a house looks like stupidity.

In contrast, renting is akin to having an undated option. It allows the owner of the renter to enter the market when he is "in the money". At the moment, home ownership is a wealth minimising strategy. It is a cash flow killer. With the current misaligned and tramatized market, no sane person would seriously consider buying.