When we started out, only the down payment represented an asset, and our annual cash flow requirements made that asset insignificant. It was the forced saving from mortgage pay down and property maintenance that made that asset grow. It was not until the mortgage was paid down that our non-home assets started to grow. That began ten years after I started working. Those are now the "good old days". Now the decision revolves around how house poor do you want to be? For how long?