Nora, maybe we've been going about this all wrong. We're focused on this binary buy vs. rent decision, consulting
complicated interactive charts
calculating the difference
between monthly payments, when there is a third option: swapping.
Yes, swapping. It's not just for vacation homes anymore! We could move to Seattle . Or Houston . Or even near Disney World .
Apparently this kind of swapping is becoming more common . (Actually, the story doesn't say whether it's becoming more common. But it's good copy!) The one catch, of course, is that we don't own anything. But I have a plan.
What we can do is buy a nice, spacious house in, say, Tampa or Phoenix — beach or desert? So long as it's a place where the market is at rock bottom — and then swap that for a similar-size place here. Or maybe we can do one of those player-to-be-named-later trades, except it's a house-to-be-named-later swap, and the house we get is the equivalent of David Ortiz and the one we name later is like Doug Mirabelli , both of whom were involved in player-to-be-named-later trades and both of whom played for the Red Sox, although they were not the players eventually named and one of the trades did not involve the Red Sox. The key would be to get a good house now and convince the buyer that the house we intend to swap later is a positive influence in the clubhouse, I mean neighborhood, and can come through in the clutch, even if it doesn't look great on paper.
Still, I'm sure you see where I'm going here. How complicated can this be ?