Buying a home is a better financial decision than renting for Seattle area homebuyers intending to stay in their home for at least three years and 6 months, according to a first quarter analysis from online real estate marketplace Zillow. Zillow's breakeven horizon incorporates all possible costs associated with buying and renting, including upfront payments, closing costs, anticipated monthly rent and mortgage payments, insurance, taxes, utilities and maintenance costs. It then factors in historic and anticipated home value appreciation rates, rental prices and rental appreciation rates to help calculate the point, in years, at which buying becomes less expensive than renting. The breakeven for Seattle as a whole is 3.6 years. But at the neighborhood level, the breakeven horizon ranges from a low of 2.3 years to a high of 4.9 years. Those with the shortest breakeven horizon were Miami (2 years), Detroit (2 years) and Phoenix (2.1 years).
August 19, 2013