Better to rent or buy?

9:16 PM, Oct 7, 2013   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Real estate experts report rental vacancies are at an all time low. They say there are a few several reasons.

First, fewer new apartment buildings were built in the early 2000's. Another, foreclosures drove many people out of their home and into the rental market. With rental rates increasing, experts say it's cheaper to own a home than rent one.

Realtor Matt Clouse showed us the cheapest end of the rental scale, Arbor Park Apartments in Wyoming- "It's the cheapest two bedroom apartments we could find in Grand Rapids, $550, 2 bedrooms one bath." 

For the same price, you can buy a home on 312 Wesley. You get an extra bedroom and double your square feet.

Clouse says, "It's a 3 bed, 1.5 bath, just under a thousand square feet on the main floor and upstairs, and another 800 downstairs." 

For a middle of the road apartment Clouse takes us to GreenRidge Apartments in Grand Rapids.

"This apartment here has two bedrooms, one bath, just under 1,000 square feet all for 800 dollars a month."

Or you could buy a home on Allerton SE, get an extra bedroom and nearly 500 sq. feet.

Clouse says, "Mortgage rates are so low right now it makes sense to buy."

The highest end of the rental scale is at River Oaks Apartments in Kentwood.

"It has 3 beds, 2.5 baths, it's almost $1,300 a month, it's got 17 hundred-25 square feet."

For $75 less, you can buy a home in the Forrest Hills School District, with more square footage. Clouse says it's enough to rest his case, it's better to buy, than rent.

"It's better to own because you're gaining equity every year, you're paying your mortgage, you're not paying your landlord's mortgage."

The prices on the homes we found include taxes and insurance.

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