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Rent or buy arguments universally skip what I consider the most important factor in any major investment decision: freedom. When you buy a house, you tie up major assets and take on a huge debt load. This provides a massive constraint on your life. You're less likely to take on a risky job opportunity, you're less likely to move for a good opportunity, you're less likely to purchase other things you enjoy, and you put all your eggs in one basket. On the last point, as Americans should know now, real estate is not a sure holder of value. You can easily lose 50-100K if you need to sell your house to move somewhere else but there are no buyers. The flipside of this is you may sell it for the asking price but need to wait a year to do so.

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