Home mortgage interest deductions. Didn't see anyone mention them, so thought I'd bring it up. In the US, all of your interest payments on one home mortgage are deductible, as long as you have income to take the deductions against. In effect, the government pays 25% (or whatever your highest marginal tax rate is) of your interest payments. This is a huge subsidy for home owners, $304 billion nationally in 2010, most of that going to the wealthiest tax payers. There is no equivalent subsidy for renters. These deductions are the biggest reason that home ownership has such a big financial advantage over renting. And while commentators have made good points about upside down mortgages and self-repair responsibility, home ownership is generally a superior financial option because of interest deductions. Whether this favoritism is smart public policy (NO) is another question.