Thanks for your thoughts on my last post asking for the renters’ side of this market — I heard from some renters and a couple of landlords.

Reader CM shared his perspective. In the last 21 years, he said, he’s owned two different homes for a total of 16 years. Now, though, he’s renewing his lease on a house for a fourth year.

We’re renting a new home in La Jolla (brand new when we moved in April 2005) for less than 1% above our original 2005 rent. More importantly, using a rule of thumb calculation an income property investor friend gave me, we’re paying way less than it would cost to own the home. …

You’ll find lots of different ways to make the rent versus own calculation. For us, the calculation comes out this way: In order to break-even owning (vs renting), we’d need to have 8% home price appreciation for 7 straight years. As long as I don’t anticipate 8% appreciation for the next 12 month period (assuming no big jump in rent), it’s an easy decision to sign up for another year of renting.

I also spoke Wednesday night to Yelena Drabkin with, that online directory for rental prices I mentioned. She said their site launched a few weeks ago on Jan. 29 and so far uses a few sources, including online classifieds (like Craigslist), to create its market composite, along with some information from property management companies. Zilpy is based in Mountain View, she said, and has about four staff members and a board of real estate professionals advising them.


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