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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.

San Francisco

san francisco buy or rent cities gallery
  • Buy or rent?: Rent
  • After 3 years: Buyers pay 28% more

Home prices in the Bay Area are among the nation's highest. There's little land to build on and its tech economy draws educated, well-paid workers from all over the world.

That keeps the housing market sizzling. The median price of homes sold during the last three months of 2012 was about $700,000, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

While rents are no bargain either, it still takes at least five years before buyers can start reaping the financial benefits of homeownership, Trulia found. At that point, homeowners realize about a 5% savings over renting. After seven years, that savings advantage climbs to 19%,

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.
  @CNNMoney - Last updated March 28 2013 12:23 PM ET

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