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To Rent, or to Buy? Depends On Your Sweet Deal

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The renting vs. buying quandary will always be a hot topic that never quite dies, as evidenced by our recycling of an old UrbanDigs graphic from a post on the subject back in May 2006. The Wall Street Journal's Developments blog takes a fresh look at the issue, and while the focus is on a more national perspective, writer Jennifer Merritt does bring it back home:

As a renter in an up-and-coming neighborhood in Manhattan, I’m particularly interested in this subject. I pay an admittedly low rent — for New York City — of under $2,300 for a large two-bedroom apartment. When I run the numbers on any mortgage calculator, it looks like we’d be spending more than $3,500 per month on a $400,000 mortgage (including taxes, but not including all the unknown expenses that come with home ownership). I know there is an upside: tax breaks, an appreciating asset, a home to call our own and shelter from the shock of rent increases. But, increasing our outlay on housing by 50% or more sounds like asking to be house poor.To which we say: under $2,300 for a large two-bedroom in an up-and-coming neighborhood? Can you float us the phone number of your building manager?!
· If Homes Cost Too Much, Is It OK To Rent Forever? [Developments]