In Palm Beach County, buying beats renting by a wide margin, Trulia finds

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

For Palm Beach County renters, Trulia chief economist Ralph McLaughlin has some simple advice: Buy a house now.

Palm Beach County ranks No. 2 on Trulia’s list of cities where buying beats renting. We’re in a virtual tie with Miami-Dade County.

Nationally, for owners who move every seven years and can afford to put 20 percent down, it’s 37.7 percent cheaper to buy this year. In Palm Beach County, it’s 53.2 percent cheaper to own.

The arithmetic gets complicated, but here’s one way to look at it: Say you buy a $250,000 house with $50,000 down and take out a $200,000 mortgage with a fixed rate of 4 percent for 30 years. Your monthly payment is $955. Add $500 a month for insurance and taxes, and your tab is $1,455, for a seven-year total of $122,220.

Or you could rent a place for $1,950 a month. Assuming rents stay the same (an unlikely scenario), your seven-year total would sum up to $163,800.

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