You can read hundreds of articles on this topic and depending on the writer, one option is better than the other. Before you decide which one is best for you the first thing you need to do is determine is where you want to live.
If your goal is to be close to all the action and not worry about driving home after a long night out of course you are going to live downtown.
If you need the peace and quite and are looking to have a family you probably are going to be in the city or the suburbs.
Now don't get me wrong living downtown has its advantages if you are single, newly married or downsizing from the big house and don't want to be alone.
It is all about priorities and not about what you do. You can own a condo downtown, a starter home in the city, or even one in the suburbs. If you are more comfortable outdoors then it is in the country.
Lifestyle is where it is. Most people think that when your young and dumb you live downtown and meet your prince or princess. What you like to do in many cases determines where you end up living.
Then you have the one's who end up living in their parents basements until they are 30 and have nothing to show for it. This article is not for them.
The biggest difference in determining where you end up living depends on the lifestyle you want to lead.
All these articles give you reasons, benefits, pro's and cons to each situation. What is more important is who you are and what you want to do. Forget about what other think and do what you want to do.
Now to determine the best answer to the original question you don't need to think long and hard on this one.. It is easier than one might think.
Here is my answer.
"Do you want to building your own equity, or would you rather pay someone else's mortgage and build theirs?"
If you like these thoughts share it with others, comment as well.