Rent vs. Buy: Which is Cheaper for You?
You can save hundreds of dollars a month by buying a home instead of renting – especially if you can get today’s low mortgage rates, itemize your tax deductions and plan to live there for 7 years.
The decision to rent or buy a home is very personal. There’s a strong emotional component: some people want the security of homeownership and others want the footloose freedom of renting. But the financial factors are also very personal because the decision to rent or buy depends on:
- Can you qualify for a mortgage at the best rate available?
- Which tax bracket are you in, and do you itemize your deductions?
- How long will you stay in your home?
Trulia’s latest Rent vs. Buy Report released Thursday morning stated that homeownership is 48 percent cheaper than renting in the Hampton Roads or Richmond VA areas.
In their newest report, Trulia compared the average cost of renting versus owning for homes across the US..Their calculations reveal that homeownership is not only cheaper than renting in the area, but in all of the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S.
Where Buying is a Slam Dunk
With a 20% down payment, a 30-year fixed mortgage rate at 3.5% and at the 25% federal tax bracket, homeownership is cheaper than renting in all of the 100 largest metros by a wide margin. There is no market where the financial decision is even close, so long as you plan to stay in the home for at least seven years, get 3.5% mortgage, and itemize your tax deductions. However, how much cheaper it is to buy a home than to rent really depends a LOT on where you live.
The degree to which it is cheaper varies; in Honolulu, for example, buying is 24 percent cheaper than renting, but in Detroit, buying is 70 percent cheaper. In the Hampton Roads area or Richmond, Trulia determined that on average, renting is $693 more expensive per month than owning.
It is important to know that in coming to these conclusions, Trulia assumes that people can get a low mortgage rate of 3.5%, itemize their federal tax deductions and are in the 25% tax bracket, and will stay in their home for seven years.
On this link, interactive map Trulia created a map that allows you to vary the factors and see what happens when, for example, you only want to stay in your home for 5 years.
To determine the percentage, Trulia looked at all the for-sale homes and rentals on their site. “On for-sale homes, we took the asking price and estimated what it would rent for; for rentals, we took the asking rent and estimated what it would sell for. That way, we can calculate the average rent and asking price for an identical set of properties in a metro area, for a direct apples-to-apples comparison,” stated Kolko.
To see Trulia’s full post and interactive graphic, click here.