Freddie Mac finally fixed an online calculator that’s supposed to help people choose between renting and buying a home.
From Planet Money:
Kosoff used to work as an economist for Freddie Mac’s “Mission Department.” His job was to promote homeownership, and he was really good at it.
He managed an online calculator designed to help people determine whether to rent or buy a house. Until now, the calculator had a fundamental (and revealing) flaw: It assumed home prices could never fall.
Huh? What economist would design a rent or buy calculator that doesn’t allow for the possibility that the value of a house might fall over time.
As of last month, the calculator still returned an error if you tried to assume that home prices would fall.
But today, economist Kosoff wrote:
The Rent vs Buy calculator on the Freddie Mac website has been fixed. Though I wasn’t able to get it fixed while I worked there, I am very relieved it is working properly now.