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Anyone else use this rent/buy calculator?
Old 01-27-2021, 02:41 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2020
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Anyone else use this rent/buy calculator?

As noted at the top, it does not yet account for recent changes in the tax code. But I enjoy using it alongside the popular NYT Upshot calculator for comparison:

The Ultimate Rent vs. Buy Calculator

Scroll down the page for more info about the calculator. Elsewhere on the site is an article about home value appreciation and why you should set the calculator conservatively, about even with inflation (because if housing always outpaced inflation, no one could afford to buy).

Sometimes the results come out more nuanced than what's "better." For example, I've run scenarios in which buying is better than renting over 10 or 20 years but then renting becomes a better deal after that. And of course "better" is not always in the finances.

Anyway, just another interesting tool.
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Old 01-27-2021, 04:00 PM   #2
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I have crunched the numbers on my own multiple times during my 26 year homeownership career. We rent now by choice and it’s wonderful.

My view is that renting vs buying is a breakeven proposition. This is borne out by the comment above that the “calculator” can be fiddled with to come up with one answer or another.

I do believe that owning a home in the best school district possible is a higher quality choice, compared with renting a comparable dwelling. Not many families with the financial resources to do otherwise would rent a two bedroom apartment with two children, for the sake of saving money. A yard, garage and space are subjective aspects to the higher “quality” statement.

A principal dwelling is an expense, not an investment.

We are renting now for time and capital flexibility, and no maintenance reasons. It has been a great decision in my view. Our two children are grown and out of the house. We raised our kids by owning/mortgaging homes.
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Old 01-27-2021, 05:53 PM   #3
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Renting vs owning is really more of a lifestyle choice than a financial choice. I've always believed that if the numbers are reasonably close then the best choice is the one that suits your lifestyle.
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