Your thinking is so rigid. It is a simple fact that being willing to move for better jobs is strongly correlated with much higher income. Being weighed down by a house makes that decision much tougher. Also, you are stuck. I know so many people that used to live near work but now live 2 ugly hours away from work due to job changes over the years. They can't afford to sell/buy near work due to Prop 13 and cost gradients. They hate their commute and feel trapped by their investment. Sure they are rich on paper but they are not happy and quality of life is low.
I found a path that works really well for me - I have some houses here and there, rent them out, and rent a small room easy biking distance from work. The nice thing about owning property while renting is as rents go up you get more rental income, and I have easy ability to move at the drop of a hat.