If you are new to the area and wondering if we should rent or buy there is more to the argument than you may think.
With buying there is pride of ownership and when you buy a home you may feel like you have a place to call your own. But....
On a more practical note, think about the reality of ownership. Unless you pay cash, buying a home results in a big mortgage on the property. You really don't own the home. The bank has a huge lien against the property and can take the house from you if you don't make your payments.
Home ownership comes with a whole bunch of other obligations too. You have the upkeep and maintenance of the property, maybe some homeowner dues, taxes, insurance, and then there are those dreaded household emergencies that cost a fortune. There is never a good time for your hot water heater to go or a tree to fall on the house.
Owning real estate can have some long-term advantages, like appreciation—hopefully. However, you also have to consider how much of a return on your investment you will receive before you have to or want to sell the home. Real estate commission costs add up to big bucks. And speaking of those costs, let's not forget all the closing costs associated with getting the mortgage to begin with.
Renting on the other hand can be significantly less expensive when you consider all the above costs. You should stop thinking of renting as throwing your money away and start thinking of it as possible less expensive housing that gives you flexibility.
When you are new to an area you don't always know the final place you'd like to live. After being there a while you might just find a certain part of town works better for your needs or commute. Spending a little time to get to know the area before you leap into a purchase makes sense.
A general rule of thumb is if you don't plan on living in a place for more than five years then renting might be the best bet financially. But another consideration is to consider how much money you'd lose buying and selling a property in a shorter period of time.