Do your homework on renting or buying

Dear Readers: To rent a home or buy? Think about this:

How long will you live in the home? Less than three years? Rent. Fees associated with buying a home (inspections, closing costs, appraisals, etc.) stack up and can easily eat into any equity.

Affording a $2,000 rent payment doesn’t necessarily mean that you can afford the same for a house payment. Again there are added costs of insurance, taxes, fees, maintenance and utilities. On the other hand, buying a home can protect you from rising rents.

Experts agree: Practice saving and amassing cash for several months before. Talk with a financial adviser to figure out the better choice for you. — Heloise

(Heloise is a columnist for King Features Syndicate. Send a hint to P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or E-Mail: Heloise@Heloise.com.)