Near the beginning of this year, there was a post about renting or owning in SoCal. From the NY Times, there is this great tool on calculating in more detail if it is better to rent or buy a home. Here you can enter a home price, how long you plan to stay, mortgage details (rate, down payment, and length), projected future growth rates, taxes, closing costs, maintenance fees, and then in contrast the costs of renting (monthly rate, broker’s fee, renter’s insurance). With all that info, the site calculates whether it is better to rent or own, as well as where the dividing line might be in terms of renting versus the costs and benefits of owning. Yes, there is no map like the other tool, but I think this tool helps you make a more informed decision about buying a home instead of renting. Check it out!