Given all that, the way it makes sense for a lot of people, is that they have fairly low income - say sub 50k and also are too undisciplined to save/invest. At the end of 30 years, even though they still don't have a dollar in cash, they have a free place to live/400k or whatever in at least 1 asset.Using myself as an example - my house sounds great in the last 7 years. Definitely worth more than I paid for it, but I've forked over $80,000 in interest, and $75,000 in taxes and insurance for the "investment." That's about the premium it would sell for over what I bought it for. Had I just bought it and not lived in it, it would be a substantial loss in real dollars. It's been a nice place to live though.
That scenario is for the Dave Ramsey types.