After an epic bust in the housing market, buying real estate might seem like a moronic financial move.
And for some people, it is.
But there is one single argument in the buy versus rent debate that trumps all others.
As professor Richard Green at USC puts it: You get to live in your piggy bank.
Your parents were at least partially right when they told you that renting was akin to "throwing money out the window." Not because renting is inherently bad--in a perfect world you'd take the money you save every month by renting, invest in stocks and bonds, and 30 years from now you'd be richer than if you'd bought a house. But it's not a perfect world; we all know you'd spend it on nicer cars and nicer dinners and nicer sneakers and 30 years from now you'd have the same amount of money but no house.