Is homeownership for you? Use this buy or rent calculator to help you do the math. It will tell you if you’d be better off buying or renting – and how many years you would have to own your home before you come out ahead. But you need to look at much more than the cost of rent or a mortgage payment to know for sure.
A quick comparison
- Likely lower monthly costs
- Fixed monthly costs
- Pay a deposit of a month's rent
- May pay a deposit for damages
- Likely higher monthly costs with mortgage, property taxes, utilities, maintenance, furnishing and decorating
- Pay interest to the bank on mortgage
- Possible unexpected repair costs
- Rent money goes to your landlord
- Build equity as you pay off mortgage
- May be able to create income by renting out rooms or subletting
- Can create income by renting out or borrowing against your home
- Not responsible for maintenance, but dependent on landlord to make timely repairs
- Responsible for maintenance and repairs
- Higher rents in prime areas but you save time and money on commute
- Affordable houses in suburban areas mean you spend more time and money on commute
|Flexibility to move
- Can move out almost whenever you want
- Harder to move quickly as can take time to sell
- May face a mortgage penalty
4 questions to ask yourself
- What kind of housing are you looking for?
- How much can you afford?
- How soon do you think you'll move again?
- How important is home ownership for you?