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5 Housing Markets Where Renting Beats Owning


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Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market

Average monthly rents in Seattle are $377 lower than mortgage payments, according to Marcus & Millichap. Last year, median-income households needed their gross income to be about 5% higher in order to afford purchasing a typical single-family home in the area, according to the NAR. While the cost difference isn’t too large, experts say some regions remain renter favorites.

In south Seattle, in the neighborhood of Dunlap, a four-bedroom, 2.5-bath home rents for $1,995 while a comparable home that’s a three-minute walk away sells for $995,000 at what would amount to a monthly mortgage payment of roughly $4,000 assuming a 20% down payment. Over in northern Seattle, in Maple Leaf, a five-bedroom home on 94th Street rents for $2,200 a month while a home that’s a few avenues over sells for $745,000; with a 10% down payment, monthly loan payments cost about an extra $1,000 to own this house than to rent the nearby one.

Residents looking for a suburban feel in an area close to the city center may also find renting to be cheaper than buying in Green Lake, which is located by Seattle’s 324-acre Green Lake Park. Here, a three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,800-square-foot home rents for $1,795 a month. A similar-sized home sells for $515,000. A borrower who makes a 10% down payment and gets a 30-year mortgage at 3.7% will pay $2,130 per month.



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