I think it's a viable option.
Financially speaking, you can diversify how you bank it with diverse investments and live off dividends, lowering your tax rate in the process as well, and also being able to walk away at any time. Not just to go and travel (knowing everything is secure), but also if you just want to move to another location that might be better for you.
DH and I talked about this the other day. We actually really like renting. The place we had our eye on from day 1 when we came here has some available. Unfortunately, it's currently beyond our means, but it's not that far. So, in a little while, we'll be able to move there. It has about 70 million amenities (parking in town being a huge one), and is a two block walk to work. It's a 15 minute drive to DS's school. Seriously, it's golden.
Owning it would be a hassle unless someone's looking at that as a long-term financial investment (in terms of running a property business). I used to have a lot of interest in that, but now that I know several people who run property businesses and I've seen it from the inside, I say to myself: no thanks!
I'd rather just have a nice, comfortable place to live with a good view that would be easy to walk away form if needed.