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You’ve probably heard that buying a home is cheaper than renting an apartment.
While homeownership may be a smart investment for some, personal circumstances and lifestyle may require you to look at other options, including renting.
For instance, many potential homebuyers assume they must put at least 20 percent down, sign a 30-year mortgage, and stay in the home at least seven years to protect their investment. However, this scenario may not work for everyone, especially those without a steady income, enough savings, or those who face a potential job relocation. In these situations, renting might be the right option, particularly over a relatively short period of time.
In addition to an individual’s financial position, the decision of whether to buy or rent may also depend on location. According to Trulia, an online real estate site, in cities such as Honolulu, San Jose, Calif., and Lancaster, Pa., buying is only about 16 to 19 percent cheaper than renting.
A prospective buyer’s income and location can also affect whether purchasing a home is even possible. A recent survey by HSH.co, a publisher of mortgage and consumer loan information, found that a buyer would need an income of about $142,000 in San Francisco and $99,000 in San Diego to afford a median-priced home (including principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments). By contrast, a buyer would need a salary of about $32,000 to own a median-priced home in Cleveland.
Ownership also involves expenses outside of a monthly mortgage, including those associated with care and maintenance of the home. If you’re weighing ownership costs vs. renting, it’s important to keep these factors in mind:
When you add it all up, you might find that buying a home isn’t any cheaper than renting. You might find it is less expensive to own than rent. Either way, be sure to do your research, factor in your lifestyle, and pick the most appropriate solution for you.
The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.
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