It's true that money can't buy happiness, but knowing that the value of your assets will grow over time does give you peace of mind. 
Negative press is leaving some home buyers stuck on the fence, but here are a few reasons to climb down. 
In the long run you come out ahead; in the short run you enjoy your home. The paper value of your home won't rise much in the next couple of years. But if you want a home where you can raise your children or retire for the rest of your life, the paper value will rise significantly, or probably double or triple during that time. 
The recent survey by the Hartford/MIT Lab's Home for a Lifetime survey shows that half of all homeowners prefer their current home for retirement. Another 10 percent may choose to retire there, but aren't yet sure. 
A home is like a savings account. Your initial costs of home buying will come back to you many times over during the life of your mortgage. Your stake in the home builds every month. You'll have more than rent receipts in the future. 
Mortgage payments are fixed; rental payments rise. On a fixed-rate mortgage, you know what your payment will be each month for years to come. (As inflation rises, you'll be making those payments with less expensive dollars.) 
Apartment rents through the third quarter of 2010 were up 2.4 percent nationwide for the year and up twice that amount in larger cities. Nice apartments were hard to find because the national vacancy rate is the lowest since 2006, according to a study by real estate research firm Reis, Inc. 
There are many more reasons for having a home of your own, reasons that have little to do with the financial aspects.
Stability and community. You get to know the neighbors. Your kids won't have to change schools. They can keep their friends. You get to know their teachers and which parks, neighborhood facilities and merchants are best for you. Studies show that as people develop positive relationships with neighbors, they have more happiness and less stress. 
You get to be the boss. Dealing with a landlord and negotiating repairs are hassles you won't have to deal with. As the boss of your own place, you can paint, renovate and redecorate as much as you want and in any color or style you want.