Someone else can do the numbers, if they want. It’s morning and I haven’t had coffee yet. But here’s what’s just happened in my neighborhood. Two houses, sold within two months of each other.
One, nicely kept, remodeled kitchen, painted throughout, landscaping tended, went for $675k. The other, owned by an elderly single woman, no improvements in the 40-year-old house, no landscaping, bought by a flipper who is now tearing it apart almost to the bones, went for $197k. People in both houses for approximately the same amount of time, both left so the elderly owners could retire to a retirement home.
I have no idea what the original prices were, but pretend they were close to comparable.
Across the years if you had paid rent, it would have kept going up, and at the end you have nothing. Presumably both of these owners had mortgages and both were paid off. (I don’t know the particulars, obviously.) In one home there were no additional expenses save food, energy, & basics, and in the other you had those plus “upkeep”, including a large remodeling which expanded the kitchen and (yes) added a modest swimming pool. (The wife had serious muscular & nerve issues, so the pool was both medical and an oasis for someone who could not travel easily.)
The third scenario is “rent”. Having been a landlord, I was thrilled to have renters who paid my mortgage and the associated living costs, including heat, water, energy, etc, and at the end I wound up with a million dollar condo (since sold.) The renters? Well, they got a place to stay, and the price kept going up over the years.
Don’t forget to include “terminal value” when you do the rent vs buy calculation. Having a many-hundred-thousand dollar payday is good for something, I’ll say.