New Tool: Rent vs. Buy Calculator

Should I keep renting or should I buy a home? This is the question many renters ask when signing a check to their landlord each month.

To help answer this age-old question, I have created a Rent vs. Buy Calculator for all Squawkfox readers. Use this tool to better compare the total costs of renting versus home ownership.

My hope is you will save big bucks by making a better informed decision as to whether renting or buying is the better option for you!

Use the Rent vs. Buy Calculator to:

  • Calculate monthly rent and other renting expenses.
  • Calculate home expenses, including: purchase price, mortgage rate, mortgage term, reno costs, home appreciation, property tax, maintenance, and many more costs.
  • Calculate return on buying a home.
  • Calculate return on renting by investing the down payment.

To use the Rent vs. Buy Calculator:

  1. Open the Rent vs. Buy Calculator.
  2. Financial Information: Enter the available savings for a down payment. Click ? for term definitions.
  3. Rent Information: Enter your monthly rent and insurance costs. Click ? for term definitions.
  4. Home Information: Enter the various costs of home ownership, including: purchase price, mortgage rate, mortgage term, home appreciation, property tax, maintenance, and many more. Click ? for term definitions.
  5. Click Calculate. The Results Report lets you know if you should rent or buy.

Example Data:
Example Report:

Let me know what you think!

Your two cents:

  1. jimmy March 21st, 2008

    you dont happen to have this in excel format do you? would love to access this offline


  2. d2cold August 11th, 2008

    Its another good calculator, except.. i doubt i would be able to find a house this nice or big to rent? While i might like the downsize idea, we recently just upsized (not entirely my choice) so calculator is a tough one to use.

    I suspect its about breakeven for us to buy vs rent, but if i used home equity to invest it would likely give an edge to buying. My numbers assumed home prices rising an average 1% over 15 years and 6.5% annual investment returns.

  3. connie November 21st, 2011

    hi, thanks for sharing your tools and downloads. I think there’s a huge whole in this one. It assumes that rent doesn’t go up yet the house value does. In reality, rent always goes up, even in a city with rent control there’s still plenty of allowable increases in rent.

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