Well we got a 39K loan our house at 4.875 interest because we put 25% down on the 30 year loan. (we got the house 30K under value) we would be paying i believe 25K in interest if we weren't going to pay the loan down faster. it is my goal that in 10 years it will be paid off in full. I think our situation is nice because even if we dont pay it off the payment (including insurance and taxes) is only $272 a month. my house would easily be paying twice that amount in rent. and someday it will be paid off and we wont have to pay any housing costs vs renting for life. and I have the ability to sell the house later on as well.
as far as home repairs go we have a large line of credit at lowes and you can buy things interest free so should we have a costly home repair we can just buy what we need and pay it off over the year.
I buy all my cars used/cash. so I pay $100 year on maintenance, $65 on taxes, and $400 insurance for both cars. every 2 years we pay $24 for safetly inpections and $70 for tabs on both cars. if something breaks we buy the parts and family members do the repairs for us. so the cost of repair isnt that big of a deal for me.
i can totally understand why owning in some regions would not make sense, when I hear people paying thousands of dollars a year for property taxes I think that's insane, ours is only $500/year.
we paid $700 for the washer and drier brand new. the way I look at it I'm not seeing that much of an increase on my utility bill. I'm not wasting gas money running back and forth to the laundromat, I'm not losing hours a week of my time if something breaks we will buy the parts and fix it ourselves. even if I had to buy a brand new washer and drier every 6 months it would be the same cost as going to the laundromat since we do 7 loads a week.