All the 20-somethings who have jobs are asking me: should we buy a house or keep renting? The answer isn’t so easy. The common wisdom for decades was to buy a house as soon as you can, because it’s a great investment. That “wisdom” turned lots of people upside down in the past decade. Let’s take a cold, hard look at the economics of owning a home.
In the past, the own-or-rent decision was largely about whether to live in a house or apartment. That’s no longer true. Condos allow ownership of a multi-family residence, and the opportunities to rent a stand-alone house are greater than ever before. So the own-rent decision should be apples-to-apples with comparable properties. If you are thinking about moving from a small apartment and buying a medium sized house, you’ll find that it’s more expensive simply because you’re getting more square footage and a yard.