I thought since we touch on this subject enough, maybe it should have it's own discussion. (then Jacob won't need a *third* journal)
Some issues that come to mind:
--I don't think a mortgage is different than any other debt. I know some people feel better when they own their home outright, but I've never understood putting feelings before hard calculations when deciding whether any debt is a good idea. (I think this also applies to student loans.)
--I do think a mortgage under 4% is cheap money, but I think my opinion is somewhat skewed by the fact that the first mortgage I held was 12%. It doesn't matter what historical rates have been. You have to do the math and see how cheap the money really is now.
--I've always valued cash flow/cash savings more than lack of debt as a way to FI. I know others think being debt free feels more independent.
--I think a mortgage might be useful in the case of a home-related emergency (like a fire or natural disaster). If the bank has a significant stake in restoring the property's value you have an ally when trying to settle with the insurance company.
--I think I like knowing I could walk away from my house if something dreadful happened to devalue the property and still have that cash in my pocket instead of sunk into the property.