This is a somewhat silly personal finance trope that assumes a reader is a) living under a bridge and b) has a suitcase full of enough cash to afford a down payment. The reality is that most homeowners start out as renters, and the decision to buy is more likely to be driven by personal circumstances1 than by the relative value of rental and for-sale housing.

But relative value is fun, and the comparison makes a useful point about the advantages to home ownership baked into the U.S. tax code. Read More…