Is it better to buy or rent? Whether renting is better than buying depends on many factors. NAR members help their clients answer this question with statistics and studies on home owners and renters as well as financing options and tips. 


We've already done the research for you.

Before you search elsewhere, take advantage of the research we've already done for you. Formerly known as Field Guides, References tabs contain links to external articles, titles from the NAR Library eBooks collection, websites, statistics, and other material to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives on each topic. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

Statistics & Studies on the Buy vs. Rent Decision

Final FY 2017 Fair Market Rent Documentation System, (HUD User, 2017). 

Renting vs. Buying a House-How to Make a Decision, Pros & Cons, (Money Crashers, June 14, 2016).

Final FY 2016 Fair Market Rent Documentation System, (HUD User, 2016).

17 Housing Markets Where It’s Smarter to Buy Than Rent, (Business Insider, Dec. 29, 2015).

Accelerating Housing Costs Has Renters Feeling the Squeeze, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2015).

Rent vs Buy: Where Should You Invest?, (Mortgage Dex May, 2014).

Is It Better to Buy or Rent?, (New York Times, 2014).

Renting vs. Buying a Home: Which Is Smarter?, (U.S. News, 2014).

Poll: Number of Renters Who Want to Own Skyrockets, (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan. 3, 2013).

Consumer Information, Tips & Resources

Rent Your Home or Buy? Here's How to Decide, (WiseBread, Nov. 22, 2016).

Buying a Home Is 44% Cheaper Than Renting (REALTOR® Magazine, Mar 21, 2013).

Rents Keep Rising as Demand Soars, (REALTOR® Magazine, Feb 28, 2012).

Renting Out Your Home?, (HouseLogic, May 3, 2010).

How to Borrow Funds for a Down Payment for a Home, (ArticleBase, Apr. 24, 2010).

Mortgage Interest Deduction Vital to Housing Market, (HouseLogic, Jan. 11, 2010).

What Are the Risks?, (Freddie Mac, 2010).

Rental Help in Your State, (HUD.gov).

Common Questions From First-time Homebuyers, (HUD.gov).

Information for REALTORS®

Renting to Own, (realtor.com®, 2014).

Why Rent When You Can Buy, (REALTOR® Store product, #186-90).

Resources for Real Estate Professionals, (Freddie Mac).

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Investing In Rent-To- Own (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The Just Right Home (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Rent vs Own (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Buying a Home When You're Single (Adobe eReader)

Buying Real Estate Without Cash or Credit (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Home Buyer's Checklist: Everything You Need to Know -- but Forget to Ask -- Before You Buy a Home (Adobe eReader)

Home Buying for Dummies® (Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

8 Steps to buying a home: a buyer's guide to finding a home in today's market, (Minneapolis: David Knox, 2003). DVD005

The Everything homebuying book, (Avon, MA: Adams Media Corp., 2003). HD 1341 W38e

The Absolute beginner's guide to buying a house, (Roseville, CA: Primus Publishing, 2002). HD 1341 Or2

House hunting: the take-along workbook for home buyers, (Vancouver, BC: Raincoast Books, 2002). HD 1341 H99h

Home buying for dummies, (New York, NY, Wiley Publishing, 2001). HD 1341 T98

The economic benefits and costs of homeownership, (Washington, DC: Research Institute for Housing America, 2001). HD 7293 R23e

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The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.


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