I understand everything you're saying, but you seem adament on having the only "correct" opinion...understand, it's your opinion, not the end-all-be-all to success. There are a million and one ways to be financially set. Yes, having a home is a credit source, but there are downsides to owning a home. Maybe its different down south but in NJ, you can spend $6K a year on property taxes alone, and thats for a townhome. Being in finance myself, I live by the cost-benefit concept...and for me, the costs of owning a home out-weighed the benefit.
Now, if real estate is your business, then yes, owning property is expected. But flipping houses is not what it used to be and it only makes sense to invest in rental properties. But thats my opinion.
There are also a million and one ways to get around the suggested retail price...key word here,"suggested". A person like myself has taken notes from the wealthy by finding ways to enjoy the finer things at the lowest cost. and judging off what i've seen on the show, nene isn't careless w/ her money. We don't know what she spent on that car. And if her bills are straight and she chooses to reward herself with a Berkin, then she can do that!
And understand, your investments are just that, YOURS! Do you think the generations to come are gonna live their lives to maintain your stuff? It might not hold the same value to them as it does to you. it sounds good, but it just doesn't play out that way in the real world.