Debating on whether to rent or buy your next home? Use this calculator to compare the net costs of renting vs. buying to help decide what’s the right move for you.
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Our rent vs. buy calculator methodology compares the total cost of renting with the total cost of buying by looking at much more than a rent check or mortgage payment.
To calculate the cost of renting, we start with the monthly rent, add agent commission and Ejari fee.
To calculate the cost of buying, we start with the purchase price and calculate the initial down payment and buyer closing costs; the monthly mortgage payment and other recurring costs like maintenance, municipality taxes, and insurance. These costs depend on numerous assumptions, like your mortgage rate, how long you stay in a home, and local home price appreciation.
Saving for a down payment is one of the biggest obstacles of buying. Regardless of whether buying is a better decision, if you don’t have a down payment, it may just not be possible.
With renting, you have little control over how much your rent payments will increase. Homeownership, on the other hand, offers the predictability of a steady monthly payment.
Buying a home is a major financial move that comes with a ton of upfront costs. If you’d be completely draining your savings in order to buy, perhaps renting is the better call for now.
As a homeowner, you never know when you’ll have to replace a roof or fix a leaky drain. If you’d rather have a landlord deal with all the extra maintenance, perhaps you’d prefer renting.
Renters have a level of freedom that homeowners don’t. Sure, renting requires a lease. But if you are unable to sell your home, you may be unable to pack up and move to, say, Tahiti.
Once you pay off a mortgage, the place is yours. But rent payments will never stop. Plus, you can’t really put a dollar amount on the sense of satisfaction you may get from owning.
When asking “Should I rent or buy?” be sure to consider where you want to live. In some areas, renting can allow you to live in a neighborhood where may not be able to afford to buy.
If you dream of making bigger changes to your home than just a fresh coat of paint, you may prefer buying. Just make sure to budget for home remodeling in your home search.
This can vary by market, but as a general rule of thumb, the longer you’ll live in home, the more sense it will make to buy because your upfront costs are spread out over time.