Rent vs. Buy is a very personal decision, everyone's situation is unique and you have to figure out what's best for YOU. That said, some of the factors that go into it:
Rental rates are at an all-time high. With all the foreclosures of the past few years, there are LOTS of folks that have very few choices other than renting. That has driven up rental demand and that directly relates to higher rents.
At the same time, we are seeing all-time record LOW interest rates on mortgage loans, making the cost of ownership MUCH LOWER than it has been in a very long time. Simultaneously, there are still a lot of distressed properties available on most markets at discount prices. Even if you're not a candidate to buy a distressed property (and they are NOT for everyone), that is keeping prices for non-distressed properties at a slow, sustainable increase, which is also good for buyers.
How are the property taxes where you want to live? If they're really high, that would put a tick on the rent side, let someone else bear the high cost of tax.
How long do you want to hold the property? If you can hold it indefinitely, you will VERY LIKELY enjoy a nice appreciation in the value of the property, meaning a capital gain that you cannot get by renting.
Lots to consider. I can tell you, for ME, buying seems to be the better bet if one can afford it (and make sure you can afford it, or you'll be one of those foreclosure statistics down the line).
Once you decide to buy (IF that is your decision), start by take a good look at your budget and the future stability of your income. Use one of the many mortgage payment calculators available on the web to figure out what your monthly cost would be on various priced houses. If it looks solid, start shopping for a loan. Figure out what the best types is for your situation. A good loan officer can help. Get pre-approved for a loan (and figure out the MOST you can afford, because it's a LOT easier to go down when you find the house you love than it is to go up!). Make sure you have a good handle on exactly what you want and need in a home. Find yourself a good Realtor that you can work well with, and remember, the seller will pay for your Realtor, so don't worry about that expense. Start shopping online first. Get a feel for what you like/want/need. Once you've got it narrowed down to a reasonable heap, tell your Realtor what you'd like to see, and start looking. Once you find that perfect place your Realtor can help you with the next steps. Best of luck in making the right choice...Jim... more
Go to the web and find a real estate agent in Gladstone, VA or one of the towns near Gladstone. If you find a broker's website, call the broker's office and ask for the agent on floor. Floor agents are looking for business and will be glad to help you find that price range. I have a long time client here in Tucson who has land in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. She used this method and has listed her property there for a fair price. When the market for land rebounds, she'll be in a good position to sell.... more