I think we choose to buy homes for financial security, for the idea of owning a building and a piece of land that (theoretically) cannot be taken away (as long as we make payments on it), for the stability of knowing financially what to expect in the future and that our privacy is guaranteed (no snooping landlords). And, if you play your cards right and can pay off the home before retirement, then you have the comfort of a home in your older years when your other expenses may be greater.
I think some buy a home because it is expected.
Because that's what "grown-ups" do.
Because that's what "successful" people do.
I don't think one has to buy a house for those reasons, though it might be a part of it.
Heck, I'm just looking forward to being able to paint my walls any color I choose, to hang pictures up, to plant a garden, to have party or two and to get a second dog at some point. Things I've never been allowed to do while renting.
My living room is now Izmir Purple. My dining room is Intense Teal. My kitchen will soon be Exuberant Pink (cabinets are Extra White). My bedroom walls (upper half) are a 75/25 mix of Aqua Tint & Tantalizing Teal, my bedroom ceiling is Blue Click. My 1st floor bath is going to be Alyssum.
My garden is in the "next summer, not yet on the priority list" phase. My dog is in the "when there aren't so many hazards for him/her to get into, I'll go to the humane society" phase.
And those were big reasons for me wanting a house.
Adding to the list: I wanted somewhere I could work on cars if I want to. Also I never again wanted to hear my neighbors stomping on my ceiling nor had to circle a complex looking for a parking space because I stayed out too late or my neighbor is having a party.
My house is a hazard and it's in pieces and I'd really love to turn the air on or get my appliances delivered, but I wouldn't trade it for another or move back into an apartment.
Starting Score: EQ 583 TU04 619 EX 592 (lender pull) 2010 Previous High Score: EQ 700 TU04 712 EX 726 Current Score: EQ 740 TU(Discover) 750 EX(AMEX) 747 Goal Score: 740+ all around