Rent vs. buy calculator

Rent vs. buy calculator

The decision between renting and buying is a crucial financial choice. Use this handy calculator to find out what decision is best for you.

Ian Hawkins

Page written by Ian Hawkins. Last reviewed on June 24, 2024. Next review due October 1, 2025.

30 years

This calculator is intended for illustration purposes only and exact payment terms should be agreed with a lender before taking out a loan.

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You will save $ per month and $ in total.

Rent monthly cost


Rent total cost


Buy monthly cost


Buy total cost


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What is a rent vs. buy calculator?

A rent vs. buy calculator is a financial tool designed to help you evaluate the financial implications of renting versus buying a property, and assists you in making an informed decision by comparing the costs associated with renting and buying over a specified period.

What other factors should be considered?

Several factors can influence the decision between renting and buying. These factors can have a big impact on the financial outcome and should be carefully considered. 

  1. Financial stability and flexibility: Your current financial situation can greatly affect your ability to secure a mortgage. Renting offers more flexibility in case of financial changes or unexpected expenses.

  2. Location and housing market conditions: The market in the area you’re considering can significantly influence the decision. High-demand areas may have higher property prices, making renting a more practical option.

  3. Duration of stay: Consider how long you plan to stay in the area. If you anticipate moving within a few years, renting may be more cost-effective.

  4. Upfront costs and down payment: Buying a home typically requires a significant down payment, which can be a barrier for some buyers. Renting usually involves lower upfront costs.

  5. Mortgage interest rates: Interest rates impact the cost of financing a property. Higher rates can lead to higher monthly mortgage payments and may influence the affordability of buying.

  6. Opportunity cost of down payment: The down payment used for buying a property could potentially be invested elsewhere, generating returns. This is known as the opportunity cost, and it should be considered when deciding to buy.

  7. Market rent vs. mortgage payment: Compare the monthly cost of renting a similar property to the monthly cost of owning. This can provide a clear financial comparison.

  8. Inflation and economic factors: Economic conditions, including inflation rates and employment stability, can impact both the market and the overall financial landscape


Choosing between renting and buying depends on factors like your financial situation, lifestyle, and long-term goals. Consider costs such as down payments, monthly rent or mortgage, maintenance, and taxes. Think about your plans to stay in one place and how real estate fits into your investment strategy.

A common rule of thumb is to spend no more than 30% of your gross monthly income on rent or mortgage payments. This helps ensure you have enough money left for other expenses and savings.

As of recent data, about 34% of Americans rent their homes, while 66% own them. This ratio can vary based on economic conditions and housing market trends.

When interest rates are high, renting can be more attractive because mortgage payments will be higher. However, it's essential to consider other factors like market conditions, your financial stability, and future rate trends before deciding.

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