Saturday, February 04, 2012

It's cheaper to own versus rent in King County

The decision to rent a home versus own a home is one that receives a lot of attention. The correct answer depends on a person’s situation.

Renting is a better option for those who need flexibility. If you expect to move within a couple years or you are uncertain of your employment, renting is likely the better option.

For those who expect to live in the same area for 5 or more years and have job security, owning a home is something to seriously consider because over the long term it is financially better.

Currently in Seattle, Washington, the cost of renting is increasing because vacancy rates are dropping, as the cost of owning a home is decreasing. On a monthly basis it is cheaper to own than rent.

In King County, home values are down 8% and condominium values are down 22% in the last 12 months. In addition mortgage interest rates are at historic lows, averaging just above 4%. The median home in King County sold for $349,950 and the median condominium sold for $195,000 last fall.

With a 10% down payment, the monthly mortgage for the median priced single-family home is $1,522 per month, while the cost of renting a typical house is $1,930 per month. The median condo would have a mortgage payment of $849 per month, while the cost of renting a typical apartment is $1300 per month.

Now may be a good time to contact a Realtor to explore options.

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