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Old 06-05-2009, 02:42 PM
puddonhead puddonhead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by validIV View Post
Sorry but no matter how you spin it, owning a home is better than renting. Renting is not smart. period. your money is gone every month. You are not getting that money back.

When you own a home, the money goes towards a mortgage, and although most of it goes to interest at first, all interest paid is tax deductible which is a huge chunk of change every year. I get more money back as an owner than a renter and in the long run I save more AND own the home.

30 year renter vs 30 year home owner? That is not rocket science.
I doubt it is as clear cut as you make it to be. Rent vs. buy has two components in each option - the monthly cost and the long term saving/investment. Let me take the example of the apartment I live in. It would cost about 360k (I am not considering the closing cost, the cost to buy new appliances and so on when you move in etc) if we were to buy it as a condo in the market. We rent it for $1300.

Buy:
Monthly Cost:
Interest (very simplistic calculation): 5% on 180k on average over 30 years. i.e. $750 per month. After Tax deduction cost ~$700 (you lose on standard deduction if you take property tax deduction - so effective saving is wayyy lower than the marginal tax rate).

Property Tax: $400 per month.

Maintenance/depreciation of appliances: assume $200 per month (easily could be more).
Total: 1300.
Long term investment: $360k at 3% per annum (long term housing price increase trend).
You pay for this saving with leverage and $1000 amortization every month for the loan principal.

Loss of flexibility/Risk : Not sure how to quantify.

Rent:
Monthly cost = $1300.
Long Term Saving (assuming you put the same $1000 every month in a normal high yeild savings account - a Reward Checking maybe) - you will get a risk free 5%.

So in this case you are paying the same monthly cost for house purchase vs rent. but you are losing out on the additional 2% per month in investment return.

Plus - buying gets you into a lot riskier position.

I have seen the proponents of buying fails to take a couple of factors into account:
1. Real Estate, historically, is not a good investment. It is even worse than the best savings accounts available. And you could easily save your monthly amortization in better savings vehicles.
2. Tax deduction from interest means you lose on standard deduction. In the above example - a family of 3 with 1 earner will have NO saving from housing tax deduction. They would be better off using the standard deduction. If there are 2 earners - they could try to work around this by filing separately and one taking deduction for housing interest and the other taking the standard deduction. But even that will probably not save you any money since many other tax rates are stacked up against single filers.
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