It can be hard to decide between renting or buying when looking for a new home. There are so many variables! And it’s an enormous decision, not one to be taken lightly. The New York Times blog The Upshot has put together an interactive infographic that could help.
The calculator asks several questions like how long you plan to stay in this future house, how much it costs, what you plan to put down, and what mortgage rate and taxes might be. Individual variables are weighted, because some are more important than others. The Times deciphers that the actual price of the home, for example, is more important than the marginal tax rate. (You can tell which number is more important by the steepness of the slope on the graph: A steeper slope means a more important variable.)
The system is done with sliders, like an abacus, but no need to count yourself: it tells you the final outcome with one simple number. There’s a clear line after which it makes sense to buy rather than rent, and the calculator helps simplify finding that number.