For Most, Buying A Home Pays Off After Just Two Years

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However, places like Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles will take a little longer to reach the ‘Breakeven Horizon’

February 04, 2016

Dallas (pictured) offers the best Breakeven Horizon of any of the 32 largest metros in the U.S. Photo Credit: NIck Oberheiden, Flickr Creative Commons

Breakeven Horizon. No, it isn’t the title of this summer’s hottest action flick, but it can still be kind of exciting for homebuyers. The Breakeven Horizon is Zillow’s way of estimating the number of years an individual would need to live in a home before buying it would become more financially advantageous than renting.

If you have been keeping up with the whole buy vs. rent debate, then it might not surprise you to learn that at the end of 2015, the Breakeven Horizon was only 1.9 years. In fact, 70 percent of housing markets will allow homebuyers to break even on their homes in less than two years. Among the largest 35 markets, Dallas has the shortest Breakeven Horizon at 1.3 years.

But that isn’t to say everywhere in the U.S. experiences such a short time to break even on a home purchase. Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles have Breakeven Horizons of 4.5 years and 4.1 years respectively, the longest for any of the country’s 35 largest metro markets.

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