My rent is $1300/month, and I think a mortgage would be $800/month. Does it make sense to buy instead of rent?

Well, yeah…of course it does!  I always tell my clients that real estate is one of the best investments you can make.  To generalize, real estate almost always appreciates in value, while the ups and downs of the stock market may well cause you some sleepless nights.  While no one can predict the ups and downs of the economy, if you have crunched the numbers, it almost always makes more sense to buy if you can.  Especially in our Five College area, comprising Northampton, Amherst, South Hadley, and neighboring towns on both sides of our Connecticut River valley.  There is a constant influx of academics and students who fall in love with the “Happy Valley” and decide to become permanent residents.  If you’d love to have the “pride of ownership” feeling, want to build equity, and don’t mind raking your own leaves, read on for a calculator that will help you crunch those numbers.

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