The NYTimes has an article here giving the advantages of buying or renting a house. The article looks at the choice purely in financial terms, but I think they've missed one of the most important reasons for buying a home: children.
A huge benefit to buying a house, if you have children, is that now they can stay in the same neighborhood and the same school system. Moving can be very hard on children, and in my thirty plus years of teaching high school, I saw a number of my students fall apart when their families moved, whereas those who had grown up in the same small town were able to keep close friends for years. Plus, a stable school situation is usually a great benefit for children with learning issues.