Rent vs. Buy Calculator

Tools that can help you navigate your financial journey.

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Should you rent or should you buy your home? It takes more than looking at yourmortgage calculatorGo to mortgage calculatorto answer this question. This rent vs. buy mortgage calculator helps you weed through the fees, taxes and monthly payments to help you make a decision between these two options. This report is based on the original purchase price, fees and taxes payable at that time. Insurance and tax costs can fluctuate from year to year. Click the 'View Report' button for a detailed look at the rent vs. buy calculator results.

Rent Vs Buy Definitions

Price of home

Purchase price of the home you wish to buy.

Interest rate

The current interest rate you expect to receive on your mortgage.

Term in years

The number of years over which you will repay this loan.

Property tax rate

Your property tax rate. 1% for a $100,000 home equals $1,000 per year in property taxes.

Home insurance rate

Your homeowner's insurance rate. 0.5% for a $100,000 home equals $500 per year for homeowner's insurance.

Assoc. & maintenance fees

Any association fees you are required to pay per month with the ownership of this home. Also include any other maintenance costs you expect to incur with the ownership of this home that you are not paying while you continue to rent.

Cash on hand

Cash you have for the down payment and closing costs.

Loan origination rate

The percentage the lending institution charges for its origination fee. 1% for a $100,000 home equals $1,000. .

Points paid

The total number of points paid to reduce the interest rate of your mortgage. Each point costs 1% of your mortgage balance.

Other closing costs

Estimate of all other closing costs for this loan. This should include filing fees, appraiser fees and any other miscellaneous fees paid.

Total for down payment

Amount you currently pay for rent per month.

After-tax investment return

The rate of return, after taxes, you could receive if you invested your closing costs and down payment instead of purchasing a home.

The actual rate of return is largely dependent on the types of investments you select. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500®) for the 10 years ending Dec. 31st, 2012 had an annual compounded rate of return of 7.1%, including reinvestment of dividends. From January 1970 through the end of 2012, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 10.1% (source: www.standardandpoors.com). Since 1970, the highest 12-month return was 61% (June 1982 through June 1983). The lowest 12-month return was -43% (March 2008 to March 2009). Savings accounts at a financial institution may pay as little as 0.25% or less but carry significantly lower risk of loss of principal balances.

The actual rate of return is largely dependent on the types of investments you select. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500®) for the 10 years ending Dec. 31st, 2012 had an annual compounded rate of return of 7.1%, including reinvestment of dividends. From January 1970 through the end of 2012, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 10.1% (source: www.standardandpoors.com). Since 1970, the highest 12-month return was 61% (June 1982 through June 1983). The lowest 12-month return was -43% (March 2008 to March 2009). Savings accounts at a financial institution may pay as little as 0.25% or less but carry significantly lower risk of loss of principal balances.

Income tax rate

Your current marginal income tax rate. Use the table below to assist you in estimating your Federal 2013 tax rate.

Expected inflation rate

This is what you expect for the average long-term inflation rate. A common measure of inflation in the US is the Consumer Price Index (CPI). From 1925 through 2012, the CPI has a long-term average of 3.0% annually. Over the last 40 years, the highest CPI recorded was 13.5% in 1980. Inflation rate is used to adjust amounts subject to annual increases. These amounts include rent, insurance and tax payments.

Home appreciates at

Annual appreciation you expect in the home you are purchasing.

Future sales commission

The percent of your home's selling price you expect to pay to a broker or real estate agent when you sell your home.

House payment

Total of principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI) and maintenance paid per month for your home. Insurance includes Principal Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and homeowner's insurance.

Initial tax savings

The value of the tax deduction you receive on your mortgage's interest and home's property taxes. For example, if you have $900 in interest and $100 property taxes per month, the value of the tax deduction would be $250 (at a tax rate of 25%).

Initial principal payment

Total of principal paid per month on your mortgage.

Net house payment

Your initial house payment minus the value of the tax deduction and principal payment.

Net home price

Net selling price of your home after subtracting any sales commissions.

Monthly payment (PI)

Monthly principal and interest payment.

Monthly PMI

Monthly cost of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). For loans secured with less than 20% down, PMI is estimated at 0.5% of your loan balance each year.

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