It’s no secret that San Francisco real estate is a pricey commodity. However, the question is: is it better to buy or rent your home given these competitive conditions and the forecast for the Real Estate market for 2024?

We’re a community constantly in flux, with property owners going in and out of the city for temporary residence – and sometimes longer-term stays out of the area. This generally presents a question for these people: is it better to keep a property that you own or rent a property according to your needs?

Many homeowners decide that they want to move on to a home that is larger, more conveniently located, or both. As a result, it can sometimes be the birth of a landlord: they keep their current home and rent it out seems a more appealing option. However, others may see renting their own primary home, rather than becoming landlords, as the way to go since they don’t want to worry about upkeep and maintenance on not one but two residences.

If you’re considering renting versus owning in San Francisco, here are a few things you might want to think about before committing in either direction.


There are many free rent versus-buy calculators online that you can use to plug in your financial figures, by doing so will give you a more precise idea of what is most fiscally feasible for your situation.

  • If you plan to stay in your home for less than five years, it may be better to rent, given that a longer residential term equates to fees being spread out over a more extended period, making this decision a better one in that case.
  • What is your tax picture? Property taxes and mortgage costs are significant – but at the same time deductible – depending on your financial picture; this can certainly impact your decision as to whether you want to buy or rent.
  • How much are you prepared to spend on homeownership maintenance and home ownership fees? If you’re a renter and your plumbing overflows, you call your landlord. When you own, you are your landlord, meaning you’d better get out that plunger; it is entirely your call.
  • If you choose to rent, know that that is not necessarily fee-free. At first, you may pay an extra fee if you rent through a management firm or broker, as well as a security deposit. These costs are relatively negligible compared to the startup (and maintenance) costs of homeownership.

Are you still trying to decide between renting and buying in San Francisco? I’m happy to help you determine what’s right for the needs of you and your loved ones.

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