Rent vs. Buy

August 25, 2010



It’s the age-old debate in real estate – what formulaic equation can you come up with to justify whether you should rent or buy in any given market. I’m here to tell you – formulas don’t work. 

For instance, Trulia reports that “Trulia.com, a real estate for-sale listings site that also recently began listing rentals, has launched its own rent vs. buy calculator. If you’re trying to decide on a city, it also created a Rent vs. Buy Index for 50 major cities. The index compares the costs of buying a two-bedroom condo with the costs of renting one.” 

But what Trulia and others don’t consider is that it’s more emotional than dollars and cents. There is still a certain joy in OWNING your home. There’s a wonderful feeling when you get a tax deduction on your residence but an even more wonderful feeling when you walk in and know it is YOUR home and you don’t answer to anyone else about paint, carpet, dogs, guests, etc. It’s your home. You can do anything you want to it. You don’t have to worry about any nicks or bruises and you can decorate and nail the heck out of your walls. It’s YOUR home. 

We’ve just come out of a cycle in real estate where everyone looked at their home as an investment. This obviously didn’t work out too well for many people. Now we are back to looking at our homes as a place to raise our families and to live our lives. If we make money – even better. 

Renting has its place and its merits. But I still, even now, don’t think it can ever beat owning a home. There is no amount of money that can beat the feeling and pride of ownership.


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