This is the classic question when it comes to real estate and personal finance. There are all sorts of calculations out there arguing both sides of this issue. Basically it boils down to this – there are tons of sunk costs when you buy a home, so if you’re looking at it strictly as an investment, the financial argument starts to break down vs renting. But if you want a home for your family and want to build a life there, then you have other benefits apart from the financial benefits.
Now the calculations are changing in light of the housing crisis. In Ohio and particularly in places like Cleveland, the foreclosure crisis has decimated some communities. Many people have lost their homes and now the demand for rentals is going through the roof. House values are plummeting.
Than can however change your calculation depending on your circumstances. If you are secure in your job and have been planning to purchase a home, now is the ideal time. Home prices are low as are interest rates. But you have to be careful to pick an area where home prices haven’t fallen too much. It might look like a deal, but you might be gambling with odds similar to cash bingo games. It’s like trying to catch a falling knife. You want to find a great deal, but if values move way down, then the whole neighborhood might crash.
The key is to look at the other houses in the area and on the block. See if the homeowners there plan on staying. You want to find an area that has great deals but that has all the fundamentals to survive in the long run. Si when looking for a “deal” you have to consider much more than price.