Paying rent means that the landlord is liable for repairs. Things like appliances, roof leaks, insurance, all that is up to the landlord to keep up in the US.
In the past 2 years, we've had to replace the furnace and heat pump ($12k) and other smaller expenses have been in the order of $4k. The house also needs to be re-painted.
Also, you don't own your property in the US. The government does. If you stop paying your taxes, they will find a way to get it. Property taxes are not cheap in many parts of the country.
That said, rent is going absolutely insane in my area. This housing bubble needs to pop and houses need to go back to families, not corporate interests.
My tenants don't realize it's actually cheaper for them to rent my houses from me than for me to own. They pay half of what it costs me to own them, when you factor in opportunity costs. Depreciation and expenses alone eat into cash flow. Depreciation isn't a phantom expense, eventually the roof, paint, appliances, etc. need to be replaced...factor that in with a 160K down payment for each house and the opportunity cost of that...it's cheaper to rent. And you're not stuck holding all these houses in this high interest rate environment....