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Ecology of Money

Should You Rent or Buy? How to Decide

The buy versus rent decision is far more complicated than it appears, says contributor John Wasik.

Buying a home--for the first time or for a retirement relocation--has never been more complicated and vexing. It’s no longer a slam dunk that property ownership will reward you over time. 

Most American property owners have been chastened by the 2008 meltdown, where home values dropped in most areas--and in some places, prices haven’t fully recovered. Furthermore, some places are far more expensive than others. Residential real estate prices locally vary nearly as much as the stock market, and are influenced by regional and national economic changes.