Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Deciding Whether to Buy or Rent

Excerpt from Deciding Whether to Buy or Rent
By Antoinette Martin, The New York Times Real Estate

In today’s market, with uncertainty the sole certainty up ahead, the age-old question — rent or buy? — becomes increasingly perplexing.

Yes, said one market expert, after he crunched fresh numbers. Despite unusually severe fluctuations and distress in the New Jersey marketplace, the analyst, Jeffrey G. Otteau, concluded that it is a better deal to buy, as long as one holds on to the property for several years.

“If you buy a good property in a stable community,” said Karen Eastman Bigos, who heads the Towne Realty Group in Millburn, “with today’s bargain prices and interest rates, it is virtually guaranteed that value will rise by more than that.”

But, noted Roberta Baldwin, a broker with Keller Williams Realty in Montclair, not all decisions about whether to rent or buy are made on the basis of finances. “Lifestyle figures in heavily,” she said, “and so does availability.”

Two couples who recently settled in Jersey City — one pair buyers, the other renters — said they had made their choices primarily out of a desire to live in new buildings with easier commutes to Manhattan.

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