The answer depends on whether you believe in your ability to invest successfully is more likely to result in better returns than the increase in value of property in the Astoria area. Only you can answer that. Having said that, I will say if you are depending on the investment advice of someone else, other than your own ability, I would exercise extreme caution. There are some (not all) investment advisers who might be more interested in the commissions they earn placing you in various (investments) than in whether or not you reach your goals. If you yourself are a very sophisticated investor you may want to go ahead and rent and invest. However, if you are not a very sophisticated investor, buying a piece of real estate in an area that is on the rise (like Astoria) may be the better move. The rule of thumb for (investing) in the market is 20 years, assuming you have picked winners. In 20 years you might beat inflation. I spent 22years in that industry before entering the Real Estate industry a number of years ago. You might consider purchasing a property and investing on a smaller scale which would offer you some leverage. You would have the stable growth provided by your Real Estate investment to offset any losses you might sustain in the investment market while hedging that you might have some good income or value appreciation from your investments in other areas. Of course your current age and ultimate goals would come into play in making the right decision. Another rule of thumb is the older you are the less risk you would take on. You haven't given any information with regard to the kind of investments you were considering or the rest of your financial profile. For example what is your retirement plan, how much have you invested in a retirement plan. What instruments is the money in. What are your liquid assets, How much debt do you carry, agiain your age. You cannot correctly answer your question in a vacuum (or I cannot) nor should the question be answered in a vacuum for your sake.
I would be happy to meet with you and help you to create a rational plan that takes into account all the details as well as your present income and projected income in the next ten years.Also, clearly defining your goals, so you have a reasonable financial plan that fits your needs.