For years, Americans have striven to buy a home rather than rent one. But following a run-up in home prices during the past two years, it may make more sense for you to rent rather than buy.
The S&P Case/Shiller index of home prices for 20 major U.S. cities jumped 12.9% in the 12 months through February, though that rate is slowing.
So how do you figure out whether to rent or buy? The Wall Street Journal offers several tips.
You'll want to determine your monthly costs for each scenario, the paper says. That includes rent, mortgage payments, taxes, insurance and other applicable expenses.
"The verdict could differ considerably within a city, suburb or town, based on the location and the style and size of the homes and apartments you are exploring."
Some areas of the country have seen much larger home price increases during the past two years than others.
Beware that if you buy in a hot market, a bidding war could break out for the home you want. So you may benefit from waiting for a correction.
Some experts say the housing market shows little sign of strength now.
"Despite continued price gains, most other housing statistics are weak," David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, tells Reuters. He cites recent declines in new and existing home sales.
Moreover, home prices nationally have not made it back to 2005.