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Cities Where Buying Is A Good Bet

Important determinants such as your mortgage rate, tax bracket, and location affect your home-buying costs.

Is renting or buying a better financial bet? Every six months, Trulia’s chief economist, Jed Kolko, runs the numbers to answer that question and help you stay on top of the trends.

So what does his latest Rent vs. Buy Report tell us? Although the gap between renting and buying is narrowing across the U.S., homeownership is still 38% cheaper than renting. The following 10 cities are places where the numbers favor buying over renting. (For the full report and an in-depth look at the methods, check out Jed’s blog post.)

1. Detroit, MI
2. Gary, IN
3. Birmingham, AL
4. Toledo, OH
5. Kansas City, MO-KS
6. Cleveland, OH
7. Dayton, OH
8. Memphis, TN-MS-AR
9. Grand Rapids, MI
10. St. Louis, MO-IL

Regardless of the national numbers, deciding whether renting or buying is best for YOU depends on a lot of factors — your job security, household needs, and income tax situation, just to name a few — as well as your local market conditions, since the math is different for every area.

For example, it’s 66% cheaper to buy in Detroit but only 5% cheaper in Honolulu. In cities like Honolulu where the gap is small, personal factors become even more significant. Check out our interactive Rent vs. Buy Map to see how important determinants such as your mortgage rate, tax bracket, and location affect your home-buying costs.

While we’re on the subject of choosing to rent versus buy, for fun, our editors dug up a whole list of other — somewhat surprising — items available for rent, as well as some helpful questions to guide your decisions. From hammers to handbags, here’s the list!