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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.

Chicago: Buy

gallery rent buy chicago
  • Median home price: $209,300
  • Median rent : $1,430
  • Breakeven time: 2.8 years

Chicago's housing market appears to be slowly turning the corner. Home prices in the Windy City rose for the fourth consecutive month in June, according to S&P/Case-Shiller.

However, while median home prices are nearly the same as the nation as a whole, rents are considerably higher. That makes buying a much better choice financially -- even for those who are planning to move out in as few as three years.

And, in some of the least expensive communities, such as the town of Dixmoor, south of Chicago, breakeven times for buyers are just one year. While in the tonier northern suburbs, such as Kenilworth, it's better for the long haul. Breakeven time there is more than 13 years, according to Zillow.

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

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