Normies tend to believe that homeownership is inherently better than renting due to their tendency to see market payments as transfers. Thus, rent paid is being “stolen” by the landlord. Economically literate people understand that the landlord is being compensated for maintenance, depreciation, property taxes, and the opportunity cost that would otherwise arise if he had capital tied up in a house no one is living in as opposed to other uses. But homeownership is beneficial due to the imputed rent tax exemption. Exactly how much I’m not sure of. This source claims savings on the order of 5.6-26.5% of costs, the latter strikes me as too high:
I’m currently in flux mode where I rent because I don’t know if I’ll leave my area soon, but I’d be motivated to find out the real answer if buying were a possibility. There ought to be a tool where you can put in your zip code, what kind of property you want to rent/buy and see a specific estimate informed by things like local property values, average estimate landlord incomes,(which matter as richer landlords would pay higher tax rates) income and property tax rates, ect. There’s such a big industry in financial planning, why doesn’t it exist?