The Breakeven Points For Renting And Buying In 11 Major Cities

April 14, 2017

In Seattle, the decision between buying or renting comes down to the number 14.9. That’s how many years it would take for a buyer to break even, when it becomes cheaper than renting.

In Philadelphia, though, it only takes 2.9 years to break even, as the average monthly rent is $1,414 while the average mortgage payment is $432. In Seattle, rent may cost $1,777, and mortgage payments may be $1,751.

CNBC reports that SmartAsset determined the breakeven points for 11 major cities. The calculations factored in average rent and home prices for each market, along with a 4.5 percent mortgage rate, $2,000 in closing costs, and a 20 percent down payment. Results are based on a household earning $100,000 a year.

SmartAsset doesn't take differences in appreciation into account; depending on the neighborhood, you may find that your NYC apartment goes up in value quickly enough that you could sell after far fewer years than the site predicts.

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