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Rent vs. Own: A Real Estate Reality Check for Navigating Booms, Busts, and Bad Advice Paperback – March 21, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you're wrestling with the decision whether to rent or own your home, Rent vs. Own is a strong recommend...and is strong when it comes to surfacing relevant stories of consumers you can relate to, and issues and questions that might not otherwise occur to you until you're knee-deep in a serious situation." -- Inman News

"Author Jane Hodges takes a truly balanced look at an emotional subject, and offers plenty of tips to keep you above water-in terms of your money and your sanity-whether you choose to own or rent." -- Mint.com

"If struggling with the big rent versus buy question, this book is for you. Even the most dedicated HGTV-addict will discover tips they've never considered before. Before you visit one more open house or write one more rent check, read this book! -Kimberly Palmer, finance columnist for US News & World Report, author of Generation Earn

"Author Jane Hodges takes a truly balanced look at an emotional subject, and offers plenty of tips to keep you above water-in terms of your money and your sanity-whether you choose to own or rent." -Mint.com

About the Author

Jane Hodges has written extensively on residential and investment real estate for The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, AOL Real Estate, The Seattle Times, and more. After living in eight rentals, she's now a homeowner twice-over and currently lives in a 1966 raised rancher in Seattle.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (March 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452102538
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452102535
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,420,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
The "Rent vs. Own" title is a little bit misleading. This book is geared heavily towards the reader who is currently renting but thinks he may be able to afford to buy. But let's be honest, nobody who is going to read this book has questions about renting - they've probably been doing it for years already! This book lightly delves into nearly every consideration for somebody considering purchasing their first property. Consider it a starting point for doing a lot more research. Hodges has included numerous examples from people who have been on both the winning and losing ends of home ownership which spices up this book a little bit more than others. She does an excellent job of driving home the fact that owning is riskier than renting, but with a potential higher payoff.

This book is a good start. It's a good one to read before you've looked at a home, pre qualified for a mortgage, or selected a realtor.
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Format: Paperback
Ms. Hodges addresses nicely the old chestnut about home-ownership being a no-brainer. By articulating the non-quantifiable costs of home ownership in a way that makes them compare nicely to the quantifiable costs, she makes it much easier to assess the matter beyond a normal dollars-and-cents analysis, making for a better 'big picture.'

She also provides some good tips for first-time buyers. She suggested looking for community-sponsored home-buyer benefits, which I did, and found that I qualified for over $5k in community assistance, despite being single with a stable and comfortable income.

I would have liked to see more analysis on ways to optimize an ROI, such as taking in a roomate. Even without this, Ms. Hodges provides an interesting and thoughtful framework in which to evaluate this huge decision. For me, after all was said and done, I opted to continue renting, preferring the mobility of rentals to the fixed nature of home ownership (something Ms. Hodges addresses at length in the book).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I ended up buying a condo instead of continue to rent. I think I already knew that was the best choice for me and in general, but everyone has different circumstances. It was a good read and made me consider factors that I hadn't thought about before.
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By JHL on March 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Finally a book about real estate and personal finance that didn't make me feel like a failure or an idiot. It's smart, interesting, accessible and clear, and it acknowledges the psychology inherent to dealing with money. I learned a lot, I know what to do now, and I have a plan.

Don't listen to your inner child, your mother, or that realtor who drives a car with a bumper sticker that says "Now. It's the time to buy." You can do your homework and make the right decision for you.
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Format: Paperback
The author offers a disclaimer in the intro that she hopes that this books leaves you with more questions than you started with - and this book does that, but in a good way! My questions were much more educated, and could be directed at a lender (will the mortgage loan include monthly assessment charges?) or a real estate agent, etc. She has definitely done her research, her book is timely and really just lays a lot of ground work for you to fill in details about your life and financial situation so that you can decide what is best for you, rather than just reading a preachy "You should own ASAP!" or "Owning isn't what it used to be - rent!" book or article. Well worth the money - this book is a good investment to determine if owning a home is a good investment for you!
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