Buy or rent? 10 major cities

Deciding whether to buy or rent? Here's how the math plays out for some of the nation's biggest cities, according to real estate site Trulia.

Chicago

chicago buy or rent cities gallery
  • Buy or rent?: Buy
  • After 3 years: Buyers save 33%

Like many old Midwestern towns, Chicago's growth has stagnated over the past decade.

Tepid demand for housing has kept values reasonable, with the median home price in the area at just $170,000.

Rental costs, however, are comparatively high, at nearly $1,600 a month. That means a prospective buyer would need to have a very short time horizon and a bad credit history for it to make more sense to rent.

After only three years, a homeowner would pay 33% less in housing costs than a renter and 50% less after seven years, according to Trulia.

Source: Trulia
Savings are based on a comparison of total housing costs for buyers and renters and include transactional cost, such as commissions, taxes, appreciation and opportunity costs, like the potential returns of selling a home. The calculation assumes homeowners will put 20% down on a 3.5%, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, will itemize deductions and are in the 25% tax bracket.
- Last updated March 28 2013 12:23 PM ET

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