Home ownership is a big responsibility — likely the most expensive purchase most of us will ever make. Consider your situation before deciding whether it's best to rent or buy.

Why buy instead of rent?

  • Your monthly payments build equity and lead toward home ownership.
  • With a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly principle and interest payments will remain the same for the life of your loan.
  • Your mortgage interest may be tax-deductible. (Property taxes and mortgage points may also be deductible; consult your tax advisor.*)1
  • If your home increases in value, you could make a profit when you sell.
  • A home could be passed on to children or other family members.
  • Equity built through home ownership can be used to finance educational expenses, home-improvement projects, small-business startup costs or other needs.
  • You can usually/typically make changes or improvements at will.
  • A landlord can't decide to sell your house and force you to move.

Why rent instead of buy?

  • Monthly payments may be lower than mortgage payments. Use our rent vs. buy calculator to determine what your mortgage payments may be.
  • Compared with a mortgage, a lease is a shorter-term commitment.
  • Someone else typically performs (and pays for) repairs.
  • Rent payments may cover appliances, furniture, utilities and even cable/internet.
  • No down payment or loan closing costs are required to start renting.
  • It's easier to sign a lease than to get approved for a mortgage.
  • There's no investment risk if the housing market changes.
  • You may be able to avoid home insurance premiums or association fees.