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Rent or Buy Calculator

12/12/2018: Changes in the new tax law have not yet been incorporated into the model. The rent or buy calculator will be updated in the third quarter of 2019.

Should You Rent or Buy?

Buying a house for the first time is a complicated financial decision. You have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of being a renter against those of being a homeowner, and you have to consider your unique financial situation as well as economic conditions—now and into the future.

Unlike a renter, a homeowner is responsible for maintenance and repairs and is exposed to the vagaries of home values and interest rates (if the mortgage has an adjustable rate). Another plus for renting is that if the rent is lower than the mortgage payment, property taxes and maintenance costs, a renter can (technically) save and invest the difference. On the other hand, a homeowner accumulates equity in a house instead of paying rent, and the mortgage interest is tax-deductable. Our web calculator is a tool that captures some of these variables and the uncertainty surrounding them. In addition to providing you with a dollar figure that represents how much you might expect to make by owning instead of renting a home (or vice versa), we also estimate what the best and worst case scenarios might be.

Use our calculator to compare your options. Find out whether you will save money by buying instead of renting, over a time period you specify.

Continue to the Rent or Buy calculator.

Economic Commentary, 2011

“Buy a Home or Rent? A Better Way to Choose” provides more detail on the calculator and its interpretation.


This calculator is for informational purposes only. The results should not be interpreted as investment advice. Javascript must be enabled for the calculator to work.