Rent or buy? New report goes county by county in NJ
One of the biggest financial decisions an adult may face is whether to rent or buy a home.
People might tell you that, without question, owning a property is smarter than putting out money each month that you'll never see again.
But, as a new study shows, the answer isn't so black and white in the Garden State.
Several factors are at play when making this decision, including how long you plan to live in the home before moving.
Financial technology company SmartAsset took a deep dive into the numbers to determine which counties presented the best and worst cases for buying versus renting.
Based on a standard formula, the study found that in certain counties, a renter would end up spending as much as a buyer — including upfront costs — in as little as two years. In others, the break-even point wouldn't come until at least six years down the line.
"It's worth running the numbers so you at least know where you stand and you know you're making a good decision for yourself and your family," said AJ Smith, SmartAsset's vice president of financial education.
In New Jersey, the average monthly mortgage payment is just over $2,000. The average monthly rent is just under $2,000. But when SmartAsset looked county by county, that relationship was flipped in a number of cases.
Camden County, for example, which ranked as the No. 1 county for buying over renting, posted an average monthly rent cost of $1,626 for a three-bedroom apartment, and an average monthly mortgage cost of $1,324. Within two years, rental costs would catch up with purchase costs, based on SmartAsset's calculations.
On the other end of the spectrum in Hudson County, ranked as the No. 1 for renting oVEr buying, the two paths wouldn't even out until at least nine years down the line.
See below to find where your county ranks. To form its rankings, SmartAsset assumed an interest rate of 4.5% for buyers, plus $2,000 in closing costs and a down payment of 20%. SmartAsset used the average price of a home and rental in each county.
The number in parentheses indicates how many years it would take for a renter to put out the same amount of money as an owner.
- Camden (2.0)
- Cumberland (2.1)
- Middlesex (3.0)
- Warren (3.2)
- Ocean (3.2)
- Burlington (3.5)
- Sussex (3.8)
- Mercer (3.8)
- Salem (3.9)
- Gloucester (3.9)
- Atlantic (4.0)
- Somerset (4.1)
- Monmouth (4.3)
- Hunterdon (4.4)
- Cape May (5.4)
- Morris (5.6)
- Bergen (6.1)
- Union (6.2)
- Passaic (6.4)
- Essex (8.0)
- Hudson (9.2)
Understanding that everyone's financial situation is different, SmartAsset developed a calculator to help you decide which route is best..
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at email@example.com.