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. 


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

Owning a Home More Affordable Than Renting in Most of the U.S. (World Property Journal, Jan. 8, 2021)

Renting vs. Buying (detailed analysis) (Khan Academy, 2011)

Fair Market Rents (Office of Policy Development and Research)

Rent vs Buy (realtor.com®)

Consumer Information, Tips & Resources

Renting vs. Owning a Home: What's the Difference? (Investopedia, Jan. 25, 2021)

Renting vs Buying a Home: Ask Yourself These 5 Questions to Decide (Insider, Jan. 6, 2021)

How To Find an Apartment in the Age of Coronavirus: A Guide for a Virtual Rental Search (realtor.com®, Apr. 10, 2020)

Our Approach to COVID-19 (Fannie Mae, Apr. 10, 2020)

Rental Help in Your State (HUD)

Common Questions From First-Time Homebuyers (HUD)

Rent vs. Buy (My Home by Freddie Mac)

First-Time Home Buyer Resources (realtor.com®)

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 (Kindle, eBook)

Buying a Home When You're Single (eBook)

Buying Real Estate Without Cash or Credit (Kindle, 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)

Investing In Rent-To-Own Property (Kindle, eBook)

The Just Right Home (Kindle, eBook)

Rent vs Own (Kindle, eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. 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 Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Buy Your First Home: A Basic Step-By-Step Guide for First Time Home Buyers (Cheyenne, WY : Queen Bee Publisher, Inc., 2012)

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

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.