Definitely check with your local market. For our local market 2 years is the "breakeven" point. If your rental market is not offering you the home that you are looking for, consider buying. If your financing permits and the market is down you may find a great deal. It could be a great investment! There are bonuses to both-with of course a 30 or 60 day notice you can move on being the biggest on the rental. Each market is different, definitely check with the professionals in the area-from the lender, real estate agent as well as property management companies.