Breaking down buy vs. rent

Inflation rate a key factor in decision

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Americans believe in the dream of homeownership. With all the foreclosures and bankruptcies taking place, however, is it cheaper for people to rent rather than buy? When it comes to the decision of renting vs. buying, most people make the decision based upon a comparison of monthly payments. If their rent payment is less than the payment on a home, many decide that it's cheaper to rent than to buy. This approach, however, fails to take into account a number of other factors that influence the total costs of homeownership, rather than just the monthly payments.The first step for any person who is considering buying (or selling) a home is to talk to a tax professional. Each person's tax situation is different. When you purchase a primary residence you can normally reduce your withholding taxes -- that is because the interest on your mortgage is tax deductible.One of the most compelling reasons to buy rather than to rent is to lock in a permanent monthly payment at today's ra...