In a stable market, this is pretty simple to bread down: Do you want flexibility or equity?

If you're renting you're spending money that you're not going to get back. But if you have a mortgage it could be a lot harder to change plans in the future and/or make a move.

If you can find a great deal on a home that you like, it's hard to pass up on regardless of where you are in life. If you're not sure what your plans are at least a few years down the road buying a home could be a bigger risk because there is a possibility of getting trapped like a lot of people were when the housing bubble popped.

During the first few years of having a mortgage it's hard to accept how much money is going to principal (if any depending on your loan), and how much is going to the bank. Ultimately, if you only plan on owning a home for a few years, and prices haven't risen it might cost you a lot of money to sell the home when the time comes. At what point is it more beneficial?

Perhaps the benefit is in that the home is yours to do what you want without asking for permission (unless there is an HOA and/or covenants). Maybe that gives you a level of joy that is worth more than any amount you would save renting.

This all depends on you personally, and never let anyone push you in making a decision. You've got to be comfortable with what you choose to do, but your choice should be an educated one.