A study from SmartAsset, a financial technology company, makes it easier by determining which markets are the best for buyers. Alexander County ranked among the best places to own in North Carolina in SmartAsset’s study, which compares average rent and home prices in counties across the U.S. to find the places where buying makes the most sense.
Where is the country’s strongest buyer’s market? To answer that question, SmartAsset gathered data on average rents and home prices, and compared buying to renting in every county in America.
Specifically, they compared the total costs of buying and renting a typical home or rental in each county, for a household earning $100,000 a year. For the “buy” scenario, SmartAsset made the following assumptions: a mortgage rate of 4.5%, closing costs of $2,000 and a down payment of 20%. For each county, they calculated the breakeven point in the buy vs. rent decision— the point at which the total costs of renting becomes greater than the total costs of buying.
The counties with the shortest time to break even are the best places to buy. Breakeven times range from 1.0 year in Alexander County to 4.1 years in Charlotte and Atlanta, to 14 or more years in places like San Francisco, Seattle, or New York (18.3 years).