Author Topic: Renting Vs. Owning in an Expensive City  (Read 1486 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 1
Renting Vs. Owning in an Expensive City
« on: August 21, 2019, 12:48:59 PM »
Hey everyone!

Trying to weigh the pros/cons of renting vs owning a home in my current situation, and I wanted to post my thoughts here to see if you guys notice something I may have missed. I know the mantra for Mustachians is to live close enough to work that you can walk/bike to work, so I'm trying to see if it makes sense for me!

Current situation: Own Home (All expenses Monthly)

  • Principle & Interest = $1,035
  • PMI = $147.50
  • Home Owners Insurance = $78.94
  • Taxes = $109
  • Water = Average $29
  • Electric = Average $102
  • Heat = Average $56.42
  • Maintenance = (Using the "1% rule for setting aside money for maintenance) $180.83
  • 10 mile Commute each way = $71.25 (estimated using a "cost of my commute" calculator I googled)
  • Roommate pays me $700/mo in rent

Total housing costs with my house = $1,109/mo

Meanwhile rent in my city ranges from $1,500-$1,900 for a 1-bedroom and around $2,200 for a 2-bedroom. Many of the monthly expenses above don't exist for renting, but I went back to check my electric bill from the year I lived downtown prior to purchasing the house, and my electric bill averaged to $47/mo, along with $15/mo in renter's insurance.

With all that accounted for, the final numbers I came up with are:

Staying in the house = $1,109 per month with the roommate, $1,809 when he eventually moves out
Renting a 1 bedroom downtown = Around $1,550/mo
Renting a 2 bedroom downtown = Around $1,1090/mo (splitting around a $2,200 rent along with the electric bill)

Of course this doesn't take into account some non-monetary pros to renting such as the actual time saved commuting, cost of Uber's when I do visit downtown, and less stress worrying about repairs/property maintenance. On that same token, it doesn't account for the non-monetary cons to renting, such as the reduced space and not having to deal with neighbors sharing walls. But in this instance I'm mostly looking at the financials.

Curious to hear your thoughts, did I miss anything?


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 4
Re: Renting Vs. Owning in an Expensive City
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2019, 01:28:41 PM »
I live in a big/very expensive city, but found a place that has extremely low rent in comparison to the rest of the neighborhood while still being quite nice.

Total rent on the house I live in is 2550, on a house that's worth around 700K.

I've ran the numbers on renting vs buying and for me it works out to needing to collect 24,000$ per year in rent in order to just break even financially assuming 7% RRR on Index Funds and 2% RRR on housing.

If you're already breaking even financially on this, it probably makes financial sense to keep the house that you own if you plan on staying in the city for a while because PMI will go away (and you should ahve put enough down to not have it anyway), and your mortgage payments are going to to stay the same, whereas in most cases rent goes up pretty frequently.  Which also helps you out in the ownership scenario since you'll eventually be able to collect more in rent to offset more of the cost.