In a recent national report by RealyTrac, they said that the average monthly payment on a mortgage is slightly less expensive than monthly rent.
The online database for real estate property information called RealtyTrac, issued a report last week about monthly house payments vs rent. They took several different factors into considerationin their report, such as taxes, insurance, maintenance, and subtracting the estimated income tax benefit and they concluded that the average mortgage payment for a median-priced Whatcom County 3 bedroom home was $1,201 a month at the end of 2013. That's a 6.5 percent increase compared to the end of 2012. Based on the study, to rent the same or equal home was $1,306 a month in Whatcom County at the end of 2013.
This puts the homeowner at an advantage of about $100 a month, and they are building equity, they don't have to ask the landlord if they can paint the walls or have a pet.
Low interest rates are helping keep mortgage payments down, while low vacancy rates are keeping rents up.
RealtyTrac shows this as a nationwide trend with the average mortgage payment being less than the average rent payment in 296 of the 325 counties analyzed.
Most of the counties where the average mortgage payments were higher than the average rent encompassed cities like Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Across those 325 counties studied, the estimated monthly mortgage payment increased 21 percent from a year ago. One reason is because of rising home prices and interest rates.
Even with lots of new apartments on the drawing boards in Bellingham, as long as interest rates remain low, the trend will favor home ownership.