Exploding Myths about Home Ownership and Renting

A New York Times analysis comparing the costs and benefits of owning versus renting a home turned up surprising results.

"After five years in which rents have barely budged while house prices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and elsewhere have doubled, renting has become a surprisingly smart option for many people who never would have considered it before....

There are obviously benefits to home ownership... But the calculation can look quite different for those who are considering a move anyway or who do not yet own a home...renters in boom markets...should know that their choice has as powerful an economic rationale as buying does right now...when owning is more expensive every month, buyers are betting entirely on price appreciation...The single biggest misconception about home ownership, some brokers and economists say, might revolve around tax deductions...

Owning a home today is more expensive than renting in much of the Northeast, Florida, and California. Only if prices rise well above their already lofty levels will home ownership turn out to be the good deal it is widely assumed to be."

Thanks to Anne Hersch

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