Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rent vs. Buy Calculator - v1.0

Yesterday the topic of rent vs. buy calculations came up in a thread, and it reminded me I had done something of one on a spreadsheet a few months ago with the intention of sharing it but forgot all about. So, figured, what the heck, lets throw it out there.

I tried to balance keeping it as easy and intuitive as possible, while still making it highly functional... most others I've seen only as a little too overly simplified. So, you need to have some understanding of personal finance like opportunity cost, but it takes care of much of the messy and confusing stuff like insurance and annuities.

There were a couple practical allowances for opportunity cost and rental income figures, because both of those represent taxable benefits, but as there are an infinite number of rates those could be taxed at, I leave that for you to ignore or calculate for your situation.

For the comparison here I did a quick search and found two comparables, one for rent, and one up for sale. Both two bed, two baths, in the same building and about the same size. Used todays 5-year fixed rate, and filled in some of the other variables, but you can play with those at your own leisure and you can see for yourself how the results change.

Everything after "Calculations" is generated automatically, you just have to fill in the three input sections. I corrected some formula errors that were pointed out, so hopefully it's right now, but please pipe up if you find more, or have any other comments, questions, concerns or suggestions on how to make it better.