Should you rent or buy a home? Depends on where you live.
To help make the decision simpler, RealtyTrac crunched the numbers and created an interactive map of the rent/buy fault lines across America,
Baltimore has the most advantageous market in the U.S. for home buyers, with a net difference of $1,160 between renting and buying. Rents there average $1,599, but the average monthly mortgage payment is just $439, based on a median sales price of $85,000.
New York City was found to be the least friendly to buyers with a net difference of $2,729 this time in favor of renters. The average rent New Yorkers pay a month is $1,852, compared with an average mortgage of $4,581 a month, according to RealtyTrac. But the reality is more complicated than that. Despite skyscraper-high prices, buyers actually have the edge in Manhattan. As for the other four boroughs: Residents of Brooklyn and the Bronx are slightly better off buying, whereas Queens and Staten Island are more favorable to renters.
The most expensive place to rent in the country? Honolulu, with an average monthly rent of $2,862. The cheapest? Montgomery County, Ark., with an average monthly rent of $699.
The cheapest place to buy a home? Washington County, Miss., with an average mortgage of just $217 a month and a median sales price of $42,000. Not surprisingly the most expensive real estate is San Francisco, where the average home mortgage is $4,599, with a median home value of $890,500.