A study conducted by a Wharton professor—whose research was all conducted well before the recession and the housing crash—shows that despite all the hoopla about the white-picket-fence American dream of owning a house, homeowners are no happier than renters. Whatever joy homeowners derive from their properties is offset by aggravations and stress. Homeowners also tend to weigh more, and they spend less time with friends or participating in leisure activities—presumably because they’re hanging around the house more.
Read more about the study here. Of course, such a study paints a very broad picture. If you purchase a home smartly, conservatively, sensibly, it can bring you enormous stability and satisfaction—in both the financial and emotional senses.