If you have been renting currently and too timid to jump into the pool of buying real estate , I have to say that it's time to learn to swim.
Although interest rates have risen , they are still reasonably low and now is still an excellent time to say "Goodbye Landlord " and "Hello home ownership". It can definitely be scary but many times you will be amazed with the responsibility, how many benefits actually come with owning a home.
Arguably , it has been said that the key to building long term wealth is in owning and investing in real estate. If that doesn't really interest you , it has also been agreed that a homeowner is generally a more worthy credit risk to potential creditors.
So its possible that those are more like features vs. benefits. Well some obvious benefits are the pride of ownership you have every time you pull in the drive way, the strong sense of community and belonging with your fellow neighbors, or just having a place for family and friends to continuously and joyously gather. Whatever makes you blissfully happy. I think you can see what I'm getting at. Buying a house has enough features and benefits to justify you jumping in the water.
Take a peak at 7 Habits that highly effective home buyers have from an article I read a few years ago. These are still so true and usable in 2013