Rent vs Buy

Should you rent or should you buy your home? It takes more than looking at your mortgage payment to answer this question. This calculator helps you weed through the fees, taxes, and monthly payments to help you make a good financial decision. Click the "View Report" button for a detailed look at the results.


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Definitions

Price of home
Purchase price of the home you wish to buy.
Cash on hand
Cash you have for the down payment and closing costs.
Interest rate
The current interest rate you can receive on your mortgage.
Term in years
The number of years over which you will repay this loan.
Property tax rate
Your property tax rate. 1% for a $100,000 home equals $1,000 per year in property taxes.
Home insurance rate
Your homeowner's insurance rate. 0.5% for a $100,000 home equals $500 per year for homeowner's insurance.
Loan origination rate
The percentage the lending institution charges for its origination fee. 1% for a $100,000 home equals $1,000.
Points paid
The total number of points paid to reduce the interest rate of your mortgage. Each point costs 1% of your mortgage balance.
Other closing costs
Estimate of all other closing costs for this loan. This should include filing fees, appraiser fees and any other miscellaneous fees paid.
Association and maintenance fees
Any association fees you are required to pay with the ownership of this home. Also include any other maintenance costs you expect to incur with the ownership of this home that you are not paying while you continue to rent.
Total for down payment
Total funds remaining for down payment.
Mortgage amount
Total amount of loan.
After-tax investment return
The rate of return, after taxes, you could receive if you invested your closing costs and down payment instead of purchasing a home.

The actual rate of return is largely dependent on the type of investments you select. From January 1970 to December 2004, the average compounded rate of return for the S&P 500, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 11.5% per year. During this period, the highest 12-month return was 64%, and the lowest was -39%. Savings accounts at a bank pay as little as 1% or less. It is important to remember that future rates of return can't be predicted with certainty and that investments that pay higher rates of return are subject to higher risk and volatility. The actual rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long-term investments. This includes the potential loss of principal on your investment.

Monthly rent payment
Amount you currently pay for rent per month.
Income tax rate
Your current marginal income tax rate.
Expected inflation rate
What you expect for the average long-term inflation rate. A common measure of inflation in the U.S. is the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which has a long-term average of 3.1% annually, from 1925 through 2004. Inflation rate is used to adjust amounts subject to annual increases. These amounts include rent, insurance and tax payments.
Home appreciates at
Annual appreciation you expect in the home you are purchasing.
Future sales commission
The percent of your home's selling price you expect to pay to a broker or real estate agent when you sell your home.
House payment
Total of principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI) paid per month for your home. Insurance includes Principal Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and homeowner's insurance.
Principal payment
Total of principal paid per month on your mortgage.
Tax savings
The value of the tax deduction you receive on your mortgage's interest and home's property taxes. For example, if you have $900 in interest and $100 property taxes per month, the value of the tax deduction would be $250. (At a tax rate of 25%).
Net house payment
Your house payment minus the value of the tax deduction and principal payment.
Net home price
Net selling price of your home after subtracting any sales commissions.
Monthly PI
Monthly principal and interest payment.
Monthly PMI
Monthly cost of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). For loans secured with less than 20% down, PMI is estimated at 0.5% of your loan balance each year.

Information and interactive calculators are made available to you as self-help tools for your independent use and are not intended to provide investment advice. We can not and do not guarantee their applicability or accuracy in regards to your individual circumstances. All examples are hypothetical and are for illustrative purposes. We encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance issues.