There is a myth out there that when you rent you are paying someone else’s mortgage, so why don’t you pay your own? This is a farce. It doesn’t matter whose mortgage you are paying, what matters is your costs to live in that home. No matter where you live, the cost to live in your home is an expense. If you rent, you pay rent to a landlord. If you own, you pay a mortgage, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc. There are costs for both options. Unless you live in a tent you will be paying for a home either way.
The reason many people think that owning is better than renting is that they equate owning a home as an investment rather than an expense. Once they make the realization that it is also an expense, the picture should become much clearer.
If you buy a home, it is an expense. If you buy a home and rent it out to a third party, it becomes an investment. A better way to put it is that when you are renting, you rent from a landlord. When you buy a home to live in, you are renting from yourself. Since you do not get any monetary gain from paying yourself, it is 100% expense.
Renting vs. Buying: Which is Cheaper
On average when you buy a home, you are not making money on it. Given the fact that you usually have to put down 20% you are actually losing out in opportunity costs with those funds. But the question remains – which is actually cheaper?
Are you looking at renting versus buying a home in an upper-class neighborhood? Everyone has to live somewhere, but most people live in a location that is affordable according to their monthly cash flow. Often that can mean renting. Renters can often live in neighborhoods they could not otherwise afford or will get apartment amenities that they could not have in an affordable home.
Excerpts - nasdaq.com