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Is it Better to Rent or Buy a Home?

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Let's face facts: We're no spring chickens anymore. We can't keep hobnobbing or rubbing elbows with the neighborhood youngsters forever. In fact, those teens and twenty-somethings seem more grating with each passing year.

It might just be time to relocate to a quieter town. Leave the hustle and bustle of a large city to the saplings and maybe settle into a suburb. The slower pace and lack of subterranean sardine cans would probably do wonders for one's lifespan.

But the question remains: "Should I rent or buy?"

With the housing market still on shaky ground, one might assume that there are some pretty amazing deals out there. But that doesn't necessarily mean buying is the best option.

Real estate search site Trulia crunched some numbers and developed a web app which breaks down the Rent vs. Buy question for America's 50 largest cities.

As you can see from the map, there's virtually no logical reason why someone should be buying in New York City. However, you're much better off buying a two bedroom apartment or condo in Miami.

Trulia derived its system by comparing the median list price and the median rent in each of the 50 cities. If the list price was more than 20 times a year's worth of rent, your best option is to rent. If it was less than 16 times, you may want to consider buying. Based on the map, ol' Gotham is the worst place to buy and Las Vegas was the worst place to rent.

Below the map, Trulia also included graphs for unemployment, foreclosures, and job growth. Also a handy to tool to cross-reference the likelihood of a new career in Fresno. Answer: Outlook not so good.

Overall, it's a nice web app the peruse should you want to remain in a metropolitan area. So if a shack up in Montana is more your speed, you'll have to consult a different site.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.