When does renting make more sense than buying?
According to The Sun's calculations, it could take more than nine years to come out ahead of renting if you buy the average-priced house in the metro area. And that's with all those fat tax deductions for mortgage interest.
If you want to sell and still come out ahead, tack on another 18 months or so for Realtors' fees and closing costs that can easily run $20,000 on the average house. And it's an extra year on top of that if you consider that, as a renter, you could probably earn at least 4 percent a year in interest on the money you didn't need to use for settlement and a down payment.
Remember, a change in the housing market -- for better or worse -- will change the results. As one economist points out, nine-plus years is such a long time to come out ahead that something will have to give.
First thing tomorrow I'll put up all the details you'd need to do your own calculations. Average is all well and good, but nothing beats specific.