The True Cost of Homeownership (Moolanomy)

What It Shows

This infographic breaks down the factors associated with one of the perennial home questions: to buy, or to rent?

Why It’s Good

I get frustrated sometimes when infographics just present data and don’t use supposed expertise to help you with actionable conclusions. In this case, not only are the costs of renting versus buying weighed against each other, but there are then some more conclusion-oriented visuals that basically tell you flat out when it’s good to rent, and when it’s good to buy.

The layout and display was very friendly, and aesthetically satisfying enough. Clear, easy-to-read fonts and nice artistic touches.

I like that they were willing to discuss the effects of some factors that the infographic did not include in the accompanying article. Some of these factors, like utility bills paid by renters, can be pretty significant.

I was also glad they they were willing to mention the cost of the time put into home buy activities, like the buy itself, the maintenance, and the selling. Too often do people focus on just the dollars and cents, and not the time that’s used that could have been spent in any other way – including earning money! If you enjoy these kinds of activities, the effects aren’t as bad, but if you’re like me and have other things you’d rather do than spend time fixing home repairs or selling a house, then renting may be a more freedom-giving option. The infographic didn’t dwell as much on this as I would have liked, but the mention is more than I tend to get. Time is money!

What It’s Missing

I didn’t really like that some of the comparisons included how much things up when you go from renting a small apartment to buying a house. What about renting a house? Some house rentals can be unfurnished and incur the same side costs as a home buy, potentially being more expensive to move regularly and potentially have to put into storage.

This infographic appears in an article on the topic here.

  • Tayna Waegner

    Last year I sold my house to move across the country and have been renting a house. My husband and I are trying to figure out this exact dilemma – is it better financially to rent or buy? As you say, this really didn’t compare renting a house which is what we are doing.