Yeah you're arguing from a bit of a weak position here. "I was perfectly happy in a condo driving a Lada I don't know why everyone wants so much stuff". - drives a tesla and lives in a ludicrously large custom built house.
I agree with you, if you don't own, don't buy a dog and other useless crap. Our house is good but it's 4 of us in the upstairs which is just over 1000sqft. It could just as well be a condo we almost never use the backyard. Haven't been out there since the summer. Only reason we have one is so the mother in law can live in the suite and the arrangement is cheaper and better than most anything else.
I think if you flew a drone in the middle of August you wouldn't find too many people in their backyards. My parents have a west facing flat backyard backing onto a park in the Oakland's area and it has been used maybe like twice a year on average for the last 22-23 years.
For the most part my house is long term financial planning more than anything else.
- I was able to do my own general contracting saving 15-20% and building equity right of the bat. This is not something I can do with a condo.
- No strata fees (huge on larger condos).
- Rental suite that has the potential to generate over $15,000 in income per year.
- Will see much better appreciation than similarly priced condo over 20 years.
You take all of that away and I am living in a condo for sure.