Chicago’s Rising Rents More Proof That Owning a Home is the Smart Money Move

It’s getting ever more difficult to afford the rents at Chicago apartments. To me, this just offers more proof that owning a home is a smarter financial move today than is renting an apartment.


A recent story by Curbed Chicago cited numbers from RENTCafe showing that the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Chicago stood at $1,720 a month in March. This makes Chicago the 17th most expensive place to rent when compared to 30 global financial centers across the world.


It’s true that Chicago’s apartment rents aren’t nearly as high as they are in cities such as New York City and San Francisco. But $1,730 for a one-bedroom apartment is a lot of money. And new apartment developments in the center of the city rent for even higher monthly prices.


I’ve long considered owning a home to be a smarter move than renting. But Chicago’s steadily rising monthly apartment rents make this own-vs.-rent equation an even easier one to solve, in my opinion.


Owning a home simply comes with important financial benefits that you can’t get from renting. If you own a home, you can build equity, by paying down your mortgage. If your home’s value rises after you buy it, your equity will increase at an even faster rate.


Once you’ve built equity, you can tap it in the form of home equity loans or home equity lines of credit, and then you can use this equity to pay off credit-card debt, help pay for your children’s college education or cover the cost of expensive home-renovation projects.


Owning a home also comes with key tax breaks. You can deduct on your taxes the interest you pay on your mortgage loan throughout the year. This can save you a significant amount of money on your taxes each year. You can also deduct the property taxes that you pay on your home.


My advice remains the same: Unless you really are committed to the apartment lifestyle, owning a home remains the best financial choice.