Rent or Buy? Are there more fundamental questions?

In his recent article “Renting Prosperity” (WSJ, May 5-6, 2012), Daniel Gross, raised the time honored question of “rent or buy?” and extended the discussion beyond merely homes and cars – venturing into textbooks and even clothing. I agree with his assessment that such decisions are good for our economy and our society. Alternative methods of asset possession increase economic efficiency by adding options for consumers. Those options will likely drive down the costs of usage, either by full ownership or by lease.

The question of “rent or buy” raises an even more fundamental question: does the average consumer have the basic tools to assess which option is best? Before a consumer can answer the ownership question, he or she must first understand his/her true financial condition. What assets and liabilities does one possess and how are they affected by the rent/buy decision. How does the rent/buy decision impact the individual’s cash flow and overall budget? I applaud Mr. Gross for raising the issue and suggest that it drives the consumer to ask even more fundamental questions.

I am interested in grabbing a copy of Mr. Gross’ new book, Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline and the Rise of the New Economy, as I expect to be equally enlightened by his assessment of the interesting subject of our future economy.

Chris Honenberger is the former President and CEO of Clearpoint. He has significant experience in law, banking and finance, and executive leadership, and during his time at Clearpoint he guided the agency toward its mission of “consumer health through financial education.”

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2 responses to “Rent or Buy? Are there more fundamental questions?”

  • cannot find a rental because of bad credit rating how can I clean up fast have a family I am responsible for..Please help of you can..thank you for returning asap.

    • Thomas Bright

      Hi Joe,
      I think you should call one of our housing counselors at 800.750.2227. They will be best able to assist you. I’m sorry I cannot be of more assistance, and I wish you the best of luck in your situation.