The New York Times continues its 400-part series on renting vs. buying with yesterday’s article on renting vs. buying.

You know, it’s cheaper to ride a bike to work than to drive your car.  I’m just sayin’ …

David Leonhardt, The New York Times

The thought has occurred to just about everybody who owns a home in a hot housing market: maybe it’s time to cash out.

The hard part is figuring out how to do so. Only a few families can actually pick up their life in, say, California and move it to Nebraska. The other option – renting – has long been derided as the equivalent of throwing money away.

But renting might deserve another look right now. After five years in which rents have barely budged while house prices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and elsewhere have doubled, renting has become a surprisingly smart option for many people who never would have considered it before.

Owning a home often ties up hundreds of thousands of dollars that might be invested more safely and more lucratively elsewhere over the next decade. And while real estate brokers may hate to acknowledge it, home ownership involves its own versions of throwing money away, like property taxes and the costs of borrowing.

Add it all up – which The New York Times did, in an analysis of the major costs and benefits of owning and renting, including tax breaks – and owning a home today is more expensive than renting in much of the Northeast, Florida and California.

Complete article: Is it Better to Buy or Rent

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