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The Cost of Renting vs. Buying in the US [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Cost of Renting vs. Buying in the US [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a tough decision.
  • Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (29.2%) vs. the percentage needed to buy a median-priced home (15.8%), the choice becomes obvious.
  • Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you can put your housing costs to work by buying this year!

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1 reply
  1. Terrence
    Terrence says:

    This makes sense if you live in the 49 US states that actually have a head on their shoulders. But let’s look at where I live… San Jose, where one of the biggest housing bubbles in history is on the verge of bursting:

    I currently rent a 2bed, 1.5 bath 950 sqft apartment for $2,295 a month! Yeah America… almost $2300 a month, just for a basic apartment!

    Now, looking on Zillow, the cheapest condo that I could find that is similar to what I’m currently renting is going for $418,888… and that’s the cheapest. Mind you, I could buy a practical mansion in most of the country for that much. Using a mortgage calculator, a 30 year loan at 3.92% interest comes to $1981/mo.

    Great! Sounds like I can beat my unreasonable rent cost… but wait, that doesn’t include property taxes, property insurance, HOA Fees, or mortgage insurance (because I don’t have a spare $84,000 kicking around). Assuming taxes run about $4,000/year, that’s an extra $334/month, plus at least another $100-$200 a month on property insurance… plus mortgage insurance… HOA’s love to rip a few hundred bucks off the top, and then there’s maintenance. Really quickly the cost approaches $3,000/month, which is closer to 40% of my monthly income, and barely half of that actually goes into the equity of the home.

    And this was the CHEAPEST I could find on Zillow. This didn’t include factors such as proximity to work (I’d assume places like Cupertino, Mountain View and Palo Alto are much pricier) or neighborhood safety, or any of the other things that are factored in. Buying a home is a huge commitment… you want to make sure you get what’s right… not just what’s cheap.

    It just bums me out when I see an article that would apply to me if I lived almost anywhere else in the United States… heck, even Los Angeles is cheaper! But I have the job of a lifetime up here… so I’ll just make do!


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