All Our Best Advice on Deciding Whether to Rent or Buy a Home

All Our Best Advice on Deciding Whether to Rent or Buy a Home

- in Real Estate
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Apartment buildings in the Fort George neighborhood of New York. About two-thirds of American rent their homes.

Credit
Elias Williams for The New York Times

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So you’re thinking of buying a home, perhaps your very first one. But you wonder whether you might be better off continuing to rent. And you have no idea how to figure out which choice makes more sense for you.

Well, join the club. This is a practical decision involving numbers, to be sure. But when we’re talking about our primary dwelling, it’s also a highly emotional one. Where we live matters, a lot. So this isn’t just a financial choice.

Here at The New York Times, we’ve spent a lot of time chewing over the rent-versus-buy decision, and if you’re numerically inclined, the first place to start is with our calculator on the choice. Even the fact of plugging the numbers in, however, taps into feelings. After all, you’ll need to tell the tool how much you expect housing prices to rise in the future and what sort of return you might get if you kept your down payment money in stocks or bonds instead of spending it on a house. Our mortgage calculator will be useful here, too.

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