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Should you buy or rent a home?

Fengyuan Chang/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Thinking of buying a home or renting? The Globe's rent vs. buy calculator can help you crunch the numbers and make an informed financial decision.

Simply plug in the purchase price of the house, as well as the size of the down payment, mortgage loan, interest rate and amortization. Throw in how much you'll pay in property taxes, insurance and maintenance. Estimate the rate of inflation, the rate at which you expect the home to appreciate, and when you might sell it.

Next, calculate rental costs: Enter how much you expect to spend on monthly rent, and how much you expect your rent to increase annually. Include the return you expect to receive from investing the money you save.

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The calculator will let you know, in a precise dollar amount, whether it makes more financial sense to buy or rent. Click on the detail box beside the summary to have the numbers broken down further. Click the legend tab to have any of the terms explained.

Globe Investor has dozens of online calculators to guide your investing decisions. To see them all, please visit this site.

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