Some good advice from my father when I was in my teens was to point out that a house is a depreciating asset but the land it sits on may be an appreciating asset. This is not new or original as evidenced by the long standing real estate maxim that you want to buy a lower end house in a high priced neighborhood. Cullen is correct, a house is very expensive asset to own. This year, on my 13 yr old house, I will be in the $30K to $40K range on standard maintenance (water heater, furnace, roof, paint, toilets, patio door, window screens, tree service). Sure it all hit in a short period of time, but my home maintenance averages a bit more than 1% of market value (in a local region where median house prices are $500K).
But living between Denver and Boulder, at the edge of the foothills, and close to the mountains, I figure the land has value. Not like the middle SF Peninsula where I grew up, but probably not a location where land values will see long term decline.