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George Mason University

The answer to old 'rent or buy?' question is your call

The answer to old 'rent or buy?' question is your call

Should you buy a house or rent? It's one of the most contentious topics among economists and econ writers, and there's still no general agreement. Recently, it was the subject of an online debate between Alex Tabarrok of George Mason University and Timothy B. Lee of Vox. Tabarrok gives reasons why renting is the right financial move, and Lee counters with reasons why buying is smart.

I'll go over some of these arguments, and add my own thoughts, but here is a preview of my conclusion: If you really want to own a house, buy a house. If it isn't very important for you to own a house, don't do it just for the supposed financial benefits. With this rule of thumb, you can avoid all the...

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