Buy or rent? 10 major cities

Deciding whether to buy or rent depends on several factors. Here's how the math plays out for some of the nation's biggest cities, according to Zillow.

Boston: Rent

gallery rent buy boston
  • Median home price: $363,700
  • Median rent : $1,950
  • Breakeven time: 4.3 years

Boston real estate is wicked expensive no matter if you are renting or buying. Land is pricey and space is priced at a premium.

In fact, home prices here are 80% above the national median. And rents average nearly $2,000 a month in the metro area. That's high but renting is still the better option for anyone planning a stay of less than five years.

Still want a place of your own? If you want it to pay off, you'll have to be patient -- or willing to commute. The best buying bargains are in old mill towns outside of the city, in towns like Lowell and Lawrence, where it takes just over two years for buyers to break even. But if you want to be closer to the city, in Brookline, for example, you'll have to wait more than 10 years to break even, according to Zillow.

Source: Zillow
- Last updated September 06 2012 10:47 AM ET
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