Homeownership in St. Louis is 53 percent cheaper than rent according to Trulia report

saint-louis-real-estate-dennis-normanShould I rent or buy a home in St Louis?  This is a question that I’ve been asked dozens of times over the past couple of years and one that given the fact that home affordability is at an all time high and mortgage interest rates at an all time low, is generally easy to answer with “buy if you can”.  I guess I many not have realized just HOW much sense that made financially, until a report came out a few days ago that looked to answer this very question and found that home ownership was 45 percent cheaper (on average) than renting in all 100 largest metro areas in the U.S.  In St. Louis, with an average monthly cost of home ownership of $593 and rental cost of $1,251, according to Trulia1, there is 53 percent less cost owning a home versus renting a home.

1Trulia looks at homes for sale and for rent and calculates the average rent and sale price across all listed properties in a metro area. Then, Trulia factors in the total costs of homeownership (e.g., closing costs, maintenance, insurance, taxes, etc) and total cost of renting (e.g., renter’s insurance and security deposit). The starting assumptions are that a prospective homebuyer can get a low mortgage rate of 3.5 percent, itemizes their federal tax deductions, is in the 25 percent tax bracket, and will stay in their home for seven years. People in the 35% federal income tax bracket are also assumed to pay 5% state income tax. To account for the opportunity costs, Trulia calculates the net present value of the payment streams for renting and owning.

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