I’m certainly not a financial expert

I’m certainly not a financial expert, but I totally disagree with the “it’s ok to do because it’s a tax write-off” philosophy. B efore you can write it off, you have to pay it, and the payment is ALWAYS much bigger than the write-off.

How can owning your personal dwelling be a liability? You have to live somewhere, and given a choice between buying and renting, renting is a TOTAL liability.
Owning is just taking the money you’d be spending to live somewhere and investing it into a tangible, negotiable asset. Like any other asset, you can diminish its value through lack of upkeep and maintenance.

I moved within the last year, so I have a relatively new mortgage that I’m paying on. My INTEREST payments at this point are almost $700 per month. That’s a total of about $8400 for the year. If my “tax writeoff” from those interest payments of $8400 amount to even $840 I would be surprised. OTOH, if the house were paid for, I would have additional disposable income every month of more than $700, of which at most $245/month, or $2940 for the year, would be paid in income taxes (if I were at the top of the tax brackets). So which is the better deal? Paying an extra $7560 each year in mortgage interest minus tax writeoff, or having an extra $5460 per year ($8400 that I’m NOT paying for mortgage, less $2940 or less in additional taxes)???