Q&A: Renting versus owning a place to live

April 9, 2010

Whether you should rent or buy a place to live while you're a resident or on short-term assignment depends on the length of the position and whether you have long-term plans to stay in the area when it's finished.

A: Whether you should rent or buy a place to live while you're a resident or on a short-term assignment depends on the length of the position and whether you have long-term plans to remain in the area when it's finished. Gone are the days when you could buy a house in your first year of residency and sell it two years later and make money. With all the costs of buying a house, sometimes it's better just to simply rent. You want to avoid buying a house while in residency or on a short-term assignment and then moving to a new location for a new position and being stuck with two mortgages. If your assignment is going to last four or more years, however, then you may wish to consider buying.