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5 reasons it's smarter to buy than rent
 
One of the biggest myths in the real estate industry is that it is cheaper to rent than to buy. In 71 percent of the cities in the U.S., owning is now currently cheaper than renting.
 
In 2011, 1.4 million new households entered the rental market due to foreclosures and demographics -- i.e., the 80 million members of Gen Y are at their prime time for starting new careers, getting married and having kids. At the same time, the number of new homes being built has dropped substantially. As a result, the demand for rental properties has skyrocketed.
 
Many experts are predicting that rent increases will run as high as 5 to 10 percent per year over the next five years.
 
What can you do to help persuade today's renters to become buyers? Here are some suggestions:
 
1. Real estate keeps pace with or exceeds the rate of inflation Everyone today is concerned about the level of federal spending. A key concern is inflation. Hard assets -- real estate, gold and silver, among them -- have historically served as hedges against inflation. In fact, even in the areas hit hard by foreclosures, virtually all of them ... more

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