There is an incredible feeling in owning a home that you love and plan to spend your life in. We get to plan the changes we'll make over the next decade. We can plant a tree and watch it grow. We can truly unpack our stuff AND our lives… which it's hard to ever do when you rent; most people I know move every 1 to 3 years. At that rate, a lot of things feel like they're never worth it. You don't hang curtains because you think "I won't be here that long" then you wake up and it's been 4 years and you never had curtains and you wasted all that time. (Actual curtains… and metaphorical curtains, too.)
Granted, you don't get that feeling if you just buy whatever's available. (And probably nigh impossible to manage in a place like SF.)
Our house is a special place. It's historic; we feel obliged to take good care of it, because it will outlast us. It's an indescribable source of joy. And yes, there's angst, too -- that always comes with loving anything, be they people, animals, organizations, or things. It's worth it.
The money is the absolutely last concern.
Also, community. My wife was sick in bed for 3 months, our neighbors came and watched our kids every morning from 8:00am-12:00pm so I could work and continue to support my family. You only get that from a neighborhood of homeowners.