A study of 250 residential properties in the U.S. found that owners would be always better off financially by renting instead of owning, Rich Arzaga says. Homes aren't a good investment because of lifelong maintenance costs and other expenses, such as insurance and taxes, says Arzaga, the founder of Cornerstone Wealth Management in California and an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Renters who don't pay those costs can invest the extra money instead.

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