Calculate this

Are you a renter now? If so, are thoughts of buying a home in the Sacramento region dancing in your head? If so, you need solid data to be an informed buyer. Fortunately, the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., has updated its Housing Cost Calculator ( for people just like you, based on data from Uncle Sam.

Enter the home price, down payment, mortgage rate, tax bracket and future sell-date, and you will get the “net cost of owning.” The calculator compares that to the cost of renting for the same period of time. The capital region is one of the nearly 400 metro areas nationally in the CEPR’s housing calculator.

Your Realtor friends will hate you for it, but play around with the numbers for a bit and you might just decide you’re better off renting. That’s because the calculator relies on one important assumption: that the historic rise in home prices the past 10 years will return to the “more normal historic trend.” In other words, bye-bye housing bubble.