In the Atlanta area rents seem to be rising at close to the same rate with the home price increases. With home prices rising 6.6 percent year-over-year, it seems that renting would be the way to go, especially for residents of high-priced cities on the West Coast and East Coast. But SmartAsset’s latest Rent vs. Buy Calculator shows that’s not always so.

Before deciding to become a homeowner, SmartAsset says potential buyers need to consider how long they plan to stay in their current city, their current financial situation, the overall cost of renting (rent, application fees, security deposits, etc.), the overall cost of homeownership (down payment, closing costs, loan charges, cost of maintaining the home) and benefits of renting (flexibility) and owning (tax deductions, building equity).

“So, if renting is better in the short-run and buying is better in the long-run, when does the financial logic switch?” says the report. “When, in other words, do the long-run costs of renting begin to outweigh the upfront costs of buying?”

Nationally, the average time it takes for buying to beat renting (also known as the breakeven horizon) is 2.6 years, but the time could be more or less depending on the specific market a potential buyer lives in.

For a household in Atlanta making $100,000 a year with a mortgage rate of 4.5 percent, closing costs totaling $2,000 and a down payment of 20 percent, the break even horizon is two years — meaning that it makes more sense to buy a home if the household is planning to stay in the city for more than two years.

Bottom Line:

If you are ready to call Atlanta or the Northeast Georgia home for the next few years, the time for you to buy might be now.  Contact us today and let’s see what your options are.  We can help you to start taking the steps to make the decision.