Respectfully, I've owned and rented and I was miserable owning a home. What a scam. It was a constant $ pit from hell. Renting saves me $10-15k a year I was paying before in interest, repairs, upkeep, taxes, insurance, etc. on a modest house. By the time I unloaded mine, I had practically bought it 2x. So unless you are buying a trouble-free property, which doesn't exist, the idea of building equity can be hard to do. Owning is a trap. A costly, limited trap.
I've been renting the last few years, and for the first time in my life, I'm not the one having to do it or pay someone to roof it, or replace a leaking pipe, or having to come up with a few thousand out of the blue for some bullshit about a furnace or a water heater. So fair warning, you buy, be prepared to pay for e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g from tree trimmings to foundation repairs to insurance. Even adhering to local rules about how tall your grass is to paying half or more of the sidewalk repairs is your county deems them in need of it. Last time the county replaced a handful of squares in front of my house, it cost me $700. Whatever you do, do not get anything in a historic district because some repairs have to be done by specialists who may have to come in from out of state. Don't buy anything under the thumb of a super strict association either. They like to tell you what color flowers you are allowed to have and bitch the moment the grass takes on a hint of brown in the drought of summer. But expect you to pay expensive dues. Also, fireplaces are great, but they cost a fortune to keep and repair and insure. Just getting one inspected and cleaned regularly by someone bonded can cost a few hundred dollars. If you have a furnace/ac, water heater be prepared to have those checked seasonally and pay extra for the services that will put you at the top of their emergency response list. Nothing like having one die unexpectedly in the middle of the night in winter and having to shell out $1200. So, no thanks. I'll stick with my rental.