NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.
Statistics & Studies on the Buy vs. Rent Decision
Should You Rent or Buy? First American Crunched the Numbers (Fortune, Dec. 5, 2022)
“For first-time homebuyers, finding the money for a down payment is typically the primary barrier to homeownership. However, once the home is purchased, appreciation helps build equity in the home—a significant benefit that renting doesn’t offer.”
“…it makes slightly more financial sense to buy rather than rent once adjusted for appreciation.”
Renting Statistics (iPropertyManagement, Jul. 14, 2022)
- Nationwide, the median gross rent is $2,016.
- The current asking rent is 12.95% lower than the average monthly mortgage payment.
- 35% of households live in rental properties.
- Over 10 years, rental rates increased 31%.
- 41% of renters spend more than 35% of their income on rent.
Rent vs buy – what’s right for you? (NerdWallet)
Should you rent or buy a home? Use our simple rent vs buy calculator to find out which option is best for you.
Renting vs. Buying (detailed analysis) (Khan Academy, 2011)
A detailed model, including a downloadable spreadsheet, that factors many of the considerations.
Rent vs Buy (realtor.com®)
The Realtor.com Rent vs Buy Report compares median monthly costs of renting and buying relative to median income in 3,143 US counties.
Consumer Information, Tips & Resources
Renting vs. Owning a Home: What's the Difference? (Investopedia, Jul. 30, 2022)
Choosing to rent or buy your home is a major decision that affects not only your lifestyle but also your financial health.
Rental Help in Your State (HUD)
In addition to the federal rental assistance, homeownership and home buying assistance programs, there may be programs sponsored by your state or local government or other organizations that can help you.
Rent vs. Buy (My Home by Freddie Mac)
If one day you aspire to be a homeowner, keep your long-term goals in mind. The transition from renting to buying is a big step which requires patience and lots of planning.
First-Time Home Buyer Resources (realtor.com®)
A 12-step home buying guide, home affordability calculator, and a 23-part video series.
Information for REALTORS®
Why Rent When You Can Buy--English Version (REALTOR® Store, #186-90)
Why Rent When You Can Buy - Spanish Version (REALTOR® Store, #E186-95)
The Rent Vs. Buy Decision (REALTOR® Store, #186-11-002-RU)
Real Estate Professionals Resource Center (Freddie Mac)
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Buying a Home (eBook)
Buying a Home When You're Single (eBook)
Buying Real Estate Without Cash or Credit (eBook)
Don't Rent, Buy! (eBook)
Home Buyer's Checklist: Everything You Need to Know -- but Forget to Ask -- Before You Buy a Home (eBook)
Home Buying for Dummies® (eBook)
How to Buy a House : First Time Home Buyer's Quick and Easy Guide to Buying A Home (Audiobook)
Investing In Rent-To-Own Property (eBook)
The Just Right Home (eBook)
Rent vs Own (eBook)
Books, Videos, Research Reports & More
As a REALTOR® member benefit, the following resources and more are available for loan through the NAR Library. Items will be mailed directly to you or made available for pickup at the REALTOR® Building in Chicago.
Buy Your First Home: A Basic Step-By-Step Guide for First Time Home Buyers (Cheyenne, WY : Queen Bee Publisher, Inc., 2012)
The Everything Homebuying Book (Avon, MA: Adams Media Corp., 2003) HD 1341 W38e
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
Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.
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.