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Should you rent or buy in Belltown?

Real Estate agents will hate this post. Economists will probably agree. A lot of other people will continue sitting on the sidelines waiting for the dust to settle. One thing is for certain, no one really knows what they’re talking about because it involves predicting the future.

The New York Times published a great article today with some fancy “Should You Buy or Rent?” calculators. I would suggest using this feature as a tool to evaluate any of your own potential purchases.

Lets run through an example together.

1) 2607 Western – 1 bedroom, 1.5 bath loft on the market today for $330,000.

I know that the rent for a comparable loft in this building is right around $1,750. The homeowners association dues rack up $341 a month for this amenity rich building. I am going to be a sunshine beaming  optimist and assume (probably incorrectly) that the housing slump has been completely solved and appreciation has returned to a historical average of 3%

Lets plug it into the calculator and take a look at the results….

In summary. If you’re planning to stay put for 12 years – Buy. Otherwise, hold tight and rent. Use the money you’d save and invest in something like rare comic books or gold bullion.