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Buying a home vs renting a home has been a challenging decision for first time home buyers.

There are benefits to home ownership and benefits to renting.  The biggest challenge is figuring out whether or not you, you and your spouse or even your family intends on residing in the same place for more than 5 years.  The average length of time people occupy their primary residence prior to selling their home is 6-9 years.   If you intend on living on the property for a minimum of 5 years, it does make more sense to purchase your own home, especially if you are in a higher tax bracket.

If you choose the be a homeowner get ready to reap the benefits of having a tax shelter.  The biggest liability one will usually have is their mortgage and tax payments.  The advantages of being a home owner is that you would receive a sizeable check at the end of the year, since mortgage payments and tax payments are tax deductible.  In addition, after the real estate bubble the housing market has rebounded.  As a result, your equity in the property has increased its value as well.

As a renter,

you would not be liable for mortgage payments, tax payments, renovations, homeowners insurance or repairs to the property.  However as the real estate market goes up so does your rent, not to mention that you would have no tax shelter.  This might not make a whole lot of difference assuming you were in a 2-3 rental property.  However, in the major cities rent adds up especially if you are making a significant amount of money.  Remember in most states Uncle Sam takes roughly a 1/3 of your pay check.  The more income you have the more you must pay the IRS.  You should speak to your CPA in order to find out the amount of refund or tax liability you would be responsible for.