Everyone’s situation is different, and depending on your future outlook, one option may be better than the other. Some questions you may want to ask your self are: Will you be living in the home long term, for at least several years? Are you looking to do “upgrades” that may not be allowed in rental housing? Have you been living in the same neighborhood for awhile and have seen rental prices go up? Are you prepared and comfortable maintaining a property?
If you answered yes to most of these, purchasing your own home may be a better option. Or perhaps, maybe you take comfort knowing that with some tools, you can make any space yours.
Still unsure on the actual cost difference between renting and owning? Check out this handy rent versus buy calculator by the New York Times which may be helpful.
Also, you may want to check out this great article on CNN, which rated Chicago as one of the top ten cities to purchase in versus renting. Approximately 47% saved, based on a median home price of $170,000. The data used was pulled from Trulia, and depending on where in Chicago you are, these numbers can vary extremely greatly.
It is no surprise that rents throughout the city has increased, partly due from higher demand from previous homeowners who sold their home via short sale, or through a deed-in-lieu. Additionally, more start ups and calling Chicago home, with other companies moving operations from the suburbs into the Merchandise Mart.
Also to consider are home buyers still looking. With inventory still tightened in many high demand areas, potential buyers have had to rent in the meantime, adding to the rental pool.
There are other additional factors, but with increasing demand in the city, rental prices in the immediate downtown area have surged approx 20-30% from just over a year ago.