For many renters, owning a home seems like an unobtainable goal. But if you look at the facts, it's easy to calculate whether it makes sense for you. Whether renting is better than buying depends on many factors, particularly how fast prices and rents rise and how long you stay in your home.
Compare the costs of buying and renting a home in the calculator from The New York Times below. Just enter your current rent payment and the price of home you can afford, and you'll see how quickly owning will pay off. You can even change inputs such as your rate of return on investments, condo/common fees and your tax bracket.
For example, if you were to purchase a home for $250,000 with 5% down and home prices were to increase only 3% per year (currently Denver home prices are rising about 10% a year), you would be money ahead after just the third year by owning instead of renting.* After six years, you would have saved $41,348!
Here's the link to the calculator:
* Assuming your current rental payment is $1500/month (typical for a smaller house or nice two bedroom apartment).