Alex, thanks for reading and your comments. I wasn't comparing buying to renting. There are many different variables for each situation, and I don't believe one is always better than the other. There are many cases where renting is better, like if you will only live somewhere for 2 years, buying and selling a house would cause you to lose more on real estate fees, etc than you would likely save with renting. Often times buying is better than renting, it just depends.
My point is that both are bad as investments. Contrary to popular advice, your hosue is not a good investment (even if it is a better financial decision than renting because you lose less money). Many people, myself included before I knew better, buy bigger houses because we think we are investing, but that money is not building wealth.
To build wealth, you need to earn much higher rates of return than you can get from your personal residence, which is why I suggest people reduce their living expenses as much as practical and invest the rest. When I sold my big, nice house and reduced my expenses, turning it into a rental, the growth rate of my wealth took a drastic step upwards.