This article in the local newspaper: AZ Homes Near 2004 Prices states that home prices in Arizona are almost down to 2004 levels. I knew that, because I have been watching the neighborhood where my rental house it located.
Sometimes I think about my decision to buy a home when I did. I did buy in 2004. I thought the prices were rising out of my reach and I was making more money than I thought I ever would again (that was probably true). The problem with my logic was that I was only thinking about how much of a loan I could qualify for with my income. I thought that houses would be too expensive if I saved a larger down payment and waited 5 years to buy.
I think the excitement of buying my own home had a lot to do with it too. It was my hobby. I decorated it, made throw pillows and curtains and landscaped the backyard. It was a lot of fun. I'm actually glad that I did it. I have learned so much from that house and it is providing a huge amount of incentive to pay off my mortgage early. I'm sure that if I had a 'dream' of home ownership that I was saving for I would not be nearly as disciplined about adding to the fund. There would be lots of other fun things to spend that house money on. Let's see, trips, a boat, a camper, a horse...the list is endless. But with a mortgage and a big mean bank waiting to take my house away if I don't pay, I have plenty of motivation pay off the mortgage and that increases my equity. So I would say that buying a house was a good decision, not in the way I thought it would be, like, increasing home values, but as a giant piggy bank that I am chained to until I fill it to the brim with money. But now that it is a rental, once my piggy bank is filled, it will start paying me every month. That's when the fun begins!