A home is the greatest investment that most Americans will ever make. Like any investment, there is a point when you can break even, the point you’d want to reach before considering a move. SmartAsset, a financial technology company, has released a report how long you would have to live in a house to break even on the purchase price when compared to renting in the same city.
According to CNBC, the survey compared the total cost of purchasing and renting an average home in a number of U.S. cities for a family with a household income of $100,000. The survey also factored in a mortgage rate of 4.5 percent, a down payment of 20 percent and closing costs of $2,000.
The break-even point for buying to make sense includes a number of variables. You might find that your home appreciates in value more quickly than predicted, which would enable you to sell in fewer years.
The city with the shortest amount of time on the SmartAsset list is Philadelphia, with 2.9 years to break even. The average monthly mortgage payment is $432 and the average monthly rent is $1,414. Home prices in Philly also are on the rise, according to research by Drexel Lindy Institute’s Kevin Gillen, with median home prices up 38 percent in 2016 compared to 2010.
The break-even point in Atlanta is 4.1 years with an average mortgage payment of $823, good for No. 2 on the list.
According to Trulia, the Atlanta market has seen a 7 percent increase in median home prices over the last year, topping $259,000.
The lack of inventory is especially evident in the downtown Atlanta area and North Atlanta suburbs where inventory shortages have resulted in price appreciation of 10% or more in certain areas.
Trailing Atlanta on the SmartAsset list are Houston, Chicago, Denver, Washington, D.C., Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
Rounding out the Top 10 is New York, where you’d better be prepared to stay in place for a little while. It’s considered the worst place in the nation to buy a home according to the company’s survey.
According to SmartAsset, it will take you 18.3 years to reach the break-even point in the Big Apple, with an average monthly mortgage payment of $2,399 and typical rent at $2,056. The average home price is $591,895.
It isn’t all that far from Philadelphia to New York, but the two communities are worlds apart when it comes to real estate.