When it comes to renting your home vs. owning, many people have long said that it’s always cheaper in the long run to own. Even if your mortgage payment is a couple hundred bucks more than rent, you get tax breaks. Plus, when you’re done paying, it’s YOURS. So it’s smarter in the long term.
But times are tight, and many folks don’t have the luxury of thinking “long-term.” And home ownership numbers have taken a hit. Despite historically low 3.7% interest rates…
The home ownership rate in the U.S. fell slightly from 66% to 65% during the first quarter of 2012 — the lowest in 15 years, according to the latest data by the U.S. Census. (It peaked at just over 69% in 2004.) SmartMoney.com
Basically, people with stable jobs and equity in their existing homes are buying new ones, but nobody is buying their old house. So there are a bunch of single-family homes being rented now…about 1/3 of all rentals.
So, while nationwide it IS still cheaper to buy rather than rent, there are a few places in the country where that formula is upside down, including:
- Northern New Jersey: Mortgage is $529 higher than rent, with some of the highest property taxes in the US.
- Long Island, NY: Same story.
- California: Like, all of it. Has the greatest number of counties where it is cheaper to rent.
- Seattle, WA: One place rents for $2000/mo, while a comparable place costs $4000/mo to buy – and that’s WITH a 20% down payment!
- Honolulu, HI: I guess you could always live on the beach, right?
So, are you renting or owning? By choice? How about your friends and family? Let us know…and have a great weekend!