Reining, who is based in Madison, Wisc., bought it for the wrong reasons, he writes on his blog: "to show everyone I was successfully navigating adulthood" and "to achieve the American Dream of buying a house."
At the time, it seemed like the natural step to take after getting a college degree and landing a stable job. "With home buying, a lot of people don't question it — and I didn't question it either," Reining tells CNBC. "I just bought it because I thought, 'Oh, everyone buys a house. That's what you want to do, right?'"
While many people consider real estate an asset or an investment, at the end of the day, owning a home takes money out of your pocket, he notes: Mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance and repairs are just a few of the many expenses that come with home-ownership.
Plus, owning a home comes with what Reining calls "soft costs": your time and reduced flexibility.