Better to Rent or Buy? It Depends on Location, Location, Location

By Reva Hicks
|  Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011  |  Updated 6:41 AM PDT
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J.K. Rowling's Childhood Home for Sale

Californians looking to own a home may want to visit Central California.

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A top spot to buy is in Fresno. It's best to rent in San Francisco. Los Angeles falls into a gray area, according to new report by Trulia, an online real estate website.

Trulia on Tuesday released its "Summer 2011 Rent vs. Buy Index," which compares the cost of buying and renting a two-bedroom apartment, condominium or townhouse in America's 50 largest cities.
 
Buying a home is cheaper than renting in 74 percent of major U.S. cities.

"Depending on personal circumstances, such as one's tax bracket, it may make more sense to buy a home in Oakland, Austin, San Jose, Memphis, Boston, Los Angeles and Portland, even though it is still relatively cheaper to rent," according to Trulia.

The median monthly rent in Los Angeles is $2,100, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Falling home prices and record-low mortgage rate are enticing people to buy homes.
Yet, "today, many banks are actually less enthusiastic about approving residential mortgage applications, which has dragged out the home buying process, according to Trulia.

And "many highly qualified buyers may be forced to be renters by choice for now," according to Trulia.
 
Trulia experts say the cost of buying a home definitely out weights renting in most cities if you've got money for the down payment, half a dozen monthly payments and enough emergency cash.

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