Don't Buy the Myths: Renting Can Be a Smart Decision

(Republished here with the permission of the National Multi Housing Council)

Rent vs. Buy

“You need to buy a house.” How many times have you heard that? Turns out that could be bad advice. Here’s why:

Every year, thousands of Americans jump into homeownership for the wrong reason, usually pressure from friends or family. It turns out a lot of them could actually save money by renting.

As the Wall Street Journal wrote in a 2001 article, “Contrary to popular opinion, renting can often be the better alternative, especially if there’s a chance you’ll stay put less than five years.”[1]

This brochure is designed to help you make an educated decision about your housing choice. There are many good reasons to buy a house, but most of them are not financial. The investment potential and the tax savings associated with homeownership are often overstated, while the costs of homeownership are frequently understated.

Instead of feeling pressured to buy, you should choose the housing that best suits your lifestyle. If you value convenience, amenities, flexibility and superior locations, you probably ought to rent. This brochure explains why you can do so with the knowledge that you are not “throwing your money away.”

The fastest growing segment of the apartment market is households earning $50,000 or more.[2] What do they know that you don’t?

Take a look through the our Rent vs. Buy articles, which detail nine homeownership myths that are prevalent in today’s real estate market.


1. “Unwise Wisdom: Buying a house is better than renting.” The Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2001.

2. NMHC tabulations of 2003 U.S. Census Bureau/Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey March Supplement.

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