In Little Rock, Study Says Buying a Home Cheaper Than Renting

by Lee Hogan  on Friday, May. 2, 2014 9:31 am  

More than five years since the housing crisis and recession, the housing market has made a rebound that has some in the mortgage loan industry thinking it might be a good time for central Arkansas residents to purchase a home.

Research from economist Jed Kolko at Trulia found that buying is 38 percent cheaper than renting across the country, and in the Little Rock area, it's 46 percent cheaper.

Shawn Karnes, a mortgage sales manager at Arvest Bank, expects the attractiveness of buying a home in central Arkansas to stick around.

"As long as interest rates stay this low, and they are not projected to increase too much over the next few years, buying a home in Arkansas will be more affordable than renting," he said.

Another reason it may be a good time for some to look at buying a home, Karnes says, is rental property rates aren't expected to fall anytime soon. 

"While there are opportunities for first-time home buyers, there is still a growing work force, and gaining credit remains a challenge compared to five and six years ago," he said.

For those thinking of buying a home, Karnes said one of the factors that has to be considered is how long residents plan on being in the area and in a home.

"You've also got to consider what comfort level of having an emergency fund you have," he said. "If your air conditioner breaks, or you need a new refridgerator, do you have the ability to save on top of your mortgage payment?"

While situations are different for everyone, Karnes said the important thing to keep in mind is the overall goal.

"You have to consider your comfort level with the responsibility of home ownership and putting roots in a community," he said.



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