New research shows the costs associated with buying and owning a home are less expensive than monthly rent after just two years living in a house. The study, from Zillow’s economics team, looked at a comprehensive list of costs and benefits for both buying and renting a home, including a 20 percent down payment, property tax, owner’s insurance, maintenance, rent payments and rental insurance. The results found buying a home to be a better deal in half of the nation’s metropolitan areas. This is due primarily to the fact that rent has been rising across the country and, despite recent increases in home prices and mortgage rates, buying a house remains very affordable based on historical averages. Among the factors to watch in order to determine whether it’s more costly to buy or rent, home values are one of the most significant. The faster home prices rise, the quicker a homeowner’s equity will offset the costs of owning a home. On the other hand, as rental costs increase, the cost of renting becomes more expensive than buying that much quicker. More here.