No. of Recommendations: 2
sykeMOL writes:

Most of the renting vs. buying discussions have sort of a living below your means theme. But for the comparison to be meaningful, we should compare apples to apples. If we're talking renting vs. buying, we should look at equivalent properties. For example, is it cheaper to rent a house, or buy the same house? If we're discussing apartment sized units, then we should look owning a condo vs. renting a similar-sized apartment, for instance.

I agree that we should be comparing apples with apples. I disagree with the above way of defining apples. Instead of comparing similar property types, I propose (in the links I posted in my first email) that the comparison should be made by using a "satisfaction" ranking. If, using highly personal criteria, I arrive at a conclusion that two "shelters" will provide me with equivalent "satisfaction", then why should I care that one is a house and the other is an apartment (or boat, or mobile home, etc.)?

Then finally when it's time to retire, the buyer has his housing paid for (except for taxes and maintainence) the renter still has to write a check every month.

I think you misunderstand a very large part of my analysis. The rent is "paid for", just like the house. Sufficient money exists in a "dedicated" account to safely provide the rental payments for the rest of eternity (assuming rent increases at the same rate as historical inflation). You may think of this "dedicated" account as very similar to the equity build-up in a paid-off home (just more liquid, and having a very high probability of being worth far more).

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