Houses as we know them are the enclaves of the rich, not the property of the poor. However, the poor in all places and times want to imitate the rich.
For some decades, Western democracies have created financial policies that allow the poor to ape the rich through home ownership. The result is the suburbs.
However, a citizenry cannot vote themselves money out of
the treasury indefinitely.
Social status subsidies cannot forever remain a core domestic policy.
The game of human social status can only escalate as more resources are poured into it. It becomes a black hole that can swallow the wealth of a nation. The higher the general baseline of wealth, the more the bar of competition rises. What starts out as a subsidy soon becomes a necessity, an entry ticket into the social game.
To stay in a house, a typical American peasant must work hard merely to pay off the interest on enormous loans. Such a peasant chooses to live on a treadmill and endlessly siphon their income into the pockets of the rich without receiving any further gain in return.
While the renter also sees a vast check disappear every month just to be left alone, they’ve effectively paid off a principal. The service in question is paid for in full for the time agreed upon. The responsibility for the property on which they stay is someone else’s concern. The labor of servants is effectively included in the package.
One should not buy a house if one could not easily afford to hire
servants to maintain both its interior and the surrounding property.
For one owned by a home the fruits of their tireless labor are additional burdens. The principal is always hanging over their head. They must clean, maintain, and repair the property through their own labors and expense. At any time, a hundred things might go wrong, things that would ruin the already delicate state of their finances.
Some of these worries can be removed through insurance, but insurance constitutes yet another expense.
Even when the home is paid for in full and the debt has disappeared, the insurance is more important than ever. Having fully joined the elite circle of property owners, one must pay property taxes in full: By anchoring oneself to a house, one has become a financial sitting duck for whoever happens to be in power!
Even when one has full ownership a home remains a major liability in the absence of significant surplus wealth and large, enduring sources of income. Only someone rich has any business owning a home.
In many other nations, suburbs as we know them do not exist. Privately owned houses remain in most lands, the preserves of local barons.