Where to Rent vs. Buy Homes in Dallas-Fort Worth

There are parts of the Metroplex where you can buy a house now and it's value will have increased in just six months. Other areas are just the opposite.

Julie Bologna is a real estate agent with Keller Williams and says in Dallas-Fort Worth, competition is huge for homes in the lower price range.

"You're competing with all the investors out there who are dying for investment properties. They're willing to pay cash, and that knocks the home buyer out who has a loan, because with cash you don't have to worry about an appraisal and you close quicker," Bologna said.

Real estate website Trulia says starter home inventory is down a 40 to 45 percent nationwide in the past few years. Here in DFW, prices are generally rising, which means bigger down payments – not to mention rent is rising, too.

"Our rental prices have gone up 7 percent just last year. It's getting harder for someone who rents," Bologna said.

That's why buying could still work out. In East Fort Worth, the price of homes jumped 33 percent last month. People buying there are instantly making money. In East Dallas, it's flat – no change. You have to look at the neighborhood and how long you'll stay.

"If you can stay put for seven years, buying is a better deal than renting," Bologna said.

Make sure you're factoring in everything from down payments and taxes, to remodeling and maintenance. For some, it's a clear answer whether renting or buying is the way to go.

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