Why Rent When You Can Buy?

By Patricia Kramer & Patricia Lou Martin

If you’re a renter looking to buy, it may be daunting to think of the costs involved with purchasing your home. On the other hand, homeowners may feel flustered in the face of ongoing home repairs. But when it comes to renting vs. buying, let’s take a look at what the numbers really add up to thanks in part to a

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Credit Score

These days, your credit score can make all the difference in getting a low, manageable payment or being stuck renting for years to come. After analyzing over 25,000 loan quotes,


found that the very best mortgage rates required a credit score of 740 and above. Good credit may be hard to come by in the face of a weak economy, but it certainly isn’t impossible to improve your score. For more information on improving your credit score, find out what the

Federal Trade Commission

recommends, and remember that any kind of credit repair will take time and effort, and will never improve overnight. But, with continued diligence, you can increase your score and get approved for the best mortgage rate which in turn can lower your monthly payment well beyond the cost of renting.

Mortgage Rates

If you’ve read any of the news headlines lately, you may already know that mortgage rates are hovering near two-year highs, with a continued expectation to rise. Right now, rates are near the 4 ¼ to 4 ½ percent range for a 30-year fixed loan. These rates, though, are still exceptionally low when historically compared to rates over the last 20 years. Now is an excellent time to buy, especially if you’re thinking long-term. If rates continue to rise, mortgage payments will increase. Every percent point increase in mortgage rates increases home buying by about 12 percent, according to


Costs of Homeownership

Housing costs should equal about 25 to 28 percent of your monthly income. In the face of rising rent costs – which, in some areas, can total more than 50 percent of an individual’s monthly income -- home-buying can be a sensible financial option when shopping in your price range. Of course, homes that are outside of your price range can become more affordable in terms of monthly cost when a larger down-payment is made on the purchase.

Costs of Renting

The general ballpark of renting a home hovers around the 30 percent of an individual’s income. In some areas of San Diego County, particularly within the coastal areas, rent can skyrocket, claiming far more of an individual’s monthly income up to nearly 50 percent. In many cases, buying a home with today’s low rates can prove to be the financially smart thing to do, especially if long-term living is desired.

Buying in San Diego

Homeownership in San Diego is easier than you think. Take a look at the available properties on our

San Diego MLS free search tool

  1. When it comes to buying, one of the key ingredients to success is working with an agent that understands your expectations, priorities and budget. For more information on home-buying in San Diego, call us at (858) 756-2398 or visit us online at