Buying Vers Renting

Real Estate Agent with All Star Realty Group

Field Guide to Buying vs. Renting

(Updated January 2008)

In today's market, is it better to Buy or Rent? The information listed here will assist you in helping answer this question. Included are statistics and studies on homeowners and renters as well as financing options and tips. (M. Glick, Sr. Information Specialist)



Statistics & Studies on the Buy vs. Rent Decision  |  Consumer Info, Tips, & Resources  |  Financing Resources  |  Information for REALTORS®  |  Books, eBooks & Other Resources

Rent-to-Own Deals: Smart Questions to Ask...

For Sellers:

Who will tend to the property and pay for routine maintenance?
Who pays for major repairs?
What are the costs of setting up and managing an escrow account for the portion of rent allotted to the down payment?
Will you manage the property yourself, or hire an agent?
What if the renters change their minds? Who keeps the money in the escrow account?
If the buyers change their minds, what will be required to put the property back on the market?

For Buyers: How much of the rent is going to the down payment?
How locked in are you if you change your mind?
What will it cost you to get out of the deal?
How long will it take to accumulate enough of a down payment that you are likely to qualify for a mortgage?

Source: REALTOR® Magazine Online.

Statistics & Studies on the Buy vs. Rent Decision


Home Prices Must Fall far To Be In Sync With Rents, (Wall Street Journal, Jan, 2008).  Q

Should you buy a home in today's Market, (Real Estates ABC, May 2007).

Now that Housing Has Soured, Renters are glad they didn't buy, (Yahoo Finance, Nov. 2007).

The buy vs. rent decision, (Yahoo Finance, 2007).

Is it Better to Buy or Rent- calculator, (New York Times, Apr. 2007).

Rental and Homeowner vacancy Rates for the US:1995 to 2007, (U.S. Census Bureau, Oct. 2007).

To Rent or to Buy, (Real Estate Finance: Smart, July 2007).

Rents inflated by soft-owner occupied market, (Realty Times, Oct. 2007).

How Much of a Mortgage Can I Afford?, (REALTOR® Magazine Online).

Renting or buying a home-advantages and disadvantages, ( ).

Rent vs Buy calculator, (,).

Consumer Information, Tips & Resources


Why Own?, (Freddie Mac, 2008).

Historical Conventional Loan Limits-1980-2008, (, Nov. 2007).

Cautious Renters Put off Buying a Home, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, July 2007).

Pros and cons of renting in retirement, (, Oct. 2007).

Rental Help in your State, (

Down payment assistance, (Housing Assistance Network).

Down Payment Woes, (Black Enterprise, Aug. 2007). Q

Helping home buyers with down payments pays off for society, (Chicago Sun-Times, Dec. 2006).

Buying versus renting, (Ginnie Mae).

Common questions from first-time homebuyers, (

Financing Resources


Veterans Administration home loan program, (Veterans Administration).

Affordable housing at Freddie Mac, (Freddie Mac).

CICA programs for affordable housing, (Federal Housing Finance Board).

Housing Assistance Council, (


Financing an energy-efficient home, (U.S. Department of Energy).

Information for REALTORS®


Working with buyers toolkit, (REALTOR® Magazine Online).

What Can You Deduct When You Own a Home, (REALTOR® Magazine).

Why rent when you can buy, #186-90

Buying a Condominium: It Makes Dollars and Sense!, #186-85

Resources for real estate professionals, (Freddie Mac).

Turning Renters into Buyers, (Real Estate Marketing Blogger, June 2007).

First-time Buyer Programs Turn Renters into Homeowners, (Realty Times, June 2006).

Turning renters into owners, (REALTOR® Magazine, July 2001).

eBooks & Other Resources


The following ebooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Buying a Home When You're Single (Adobe eReader)

Buying Real Estate Without Cash or Credit (Adobe eReader)

Home Buyer's Checklist: Everything You Need to Know -- but Forget to Ask -- Before You Buy a Home (Adobe eReader)

Home Buying for Dummies® (Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More


The resources below are available for loan through Information Central.  Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10.  Call Information Central at 800.874.6500 for assistance.

1001 tips for buying and selling a home, (Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western, 2005). HD 1341 N17

8 Steps to buying a home: a buyer's guide to finding a home in today's market, (Minneapolis: David Knox, 2003). DVD005

The Everything homebuying book, (Avon, MA: Adams Media Corp., 2003). HD 1341 W38e

The Absolute beginner's guide to buying a house, (Roseville, CA: Primus Publishing, 2002). HD 1341 Or2

House hunting: the take-along workbook for home buyers, (Vancouver, BC: Raincoast Books, 2002). HD 1341 H99h

Home buying for dummies, (New York, NY, Wiley Publishing, 2001). HD 1341 T98

The economic benefits and costs of homeownership, (Washington, DC: Research Institute for Housing America, 2001). HD 7293 R23e

Field Guides & More


These Field Guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Home Inspections 

Field Guide to Women Homebuyers 

InfoCentral Blog


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