Buying a home is a massive decision and includes multiple, long-term financial and lifestyle obligations. The average person spends around 1/3 of their income on their home. You’ll still need to do the work to make sure your personal finances and holistic life picture are also in alignment before you buy, as well of the work it takes to ensure that your real estate and mortgage decisions are sustainable and smart, over the long-term. A good Buyer’s Agent is invaluable to a Buyer, and can be the difference between a wonderful transaction, and a nightmare. Here is an interesting article worth a few minutes of your time:
Homeownership more affordable than renting in major metros
After years of home price declines and tightening rental markets, homeownership is now more affordable than renting in all but two of the 100 largest metros – even in expensive real estate markets such as New York, Los Angeles and Boston, according to Trulia. Only in Honolulu and San Francisco is renting often a better deal than buying. However, buying a home in these markets might make sense for people who plan to stay in their next home for at least five years and can benefit from the mortgage-interest tax deduction.
Trulia’s Winter 2012 Rent vs. Buy Index, which tracks whether it is more affordable to rent or buy a home in America’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, is based on asking prices for rental units and for-sale homes on Trulia.com between December 1, 2011, and February 29, 2012. The index reveals the relative cost of renting versus buying for similar homes in similar neighborhoods.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, homeownership is most expensive relative to renting in San Francisco, the Peninsula (San Mateo County) and in the South Bay (Santa Clara County). In the East Bay (Alameda County and Contra Costa County), where vacancies are higher and foreclosures more common, buying looks even better relative to renting than in the rest of the Bay Area. But the region overall has become more affordable, especially in San Francisco and San Mateo counties, where the price-to-rent ratio dropped more than three points between Winter 2011 and Winter 2012.
Even in real estate markets where buying is generally cheaper than renting a home, renting might actually be a better deal on a larger house. In most major metros, the price-to-rent ratio is lower for smaller homes, so buying seems even more affordable relative to renting for a one-bedroom or studio home than for a home with three or more bedrooms. In fact, renting a home with more than two bedrooms can be less expensive than buying in New York, NY-NJ and San Francisco. Size, however, factors less into the rent versus buy decision in Chicago and Miami...