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Cost to Buy vs Rent in 10 Texas Cities

Houston Texas buy versus rent cost

Everything’s bigger in Texas – except home prices. While buying a home in 10 major Texas cities usually costs more than renting, the monthly price tag isn’t astronomically higher.

We looked at costs of buying versus renting a single-family home assuming conservative homebuying criteria: five percent down and a full payment that includes estimated private mortgage insurance (PMI), property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance. See our full methodology at the end of this article.

If you’re a renter in Texas, you might consider buying a home. You might pay just a little more – or perhaps less – than renting a similar home.

Monthly Cost to Buy vs Rent

1. Houston: +$341 per month
2. San Antonio: +$483
3. Dallas: +$593
4. Austin: +$2,335
5. Fort Worth: +$541
6. El Paso: +$387
7. Corpus Christi: +$147
8. Lubbock: +$583
9. Amarillo: +$407
10. Brownsville: -$127

1. Houston

Home Price

$267,259

Full Payment

$2,400

Rent

$2,060

Cost Difference to Buy

+$341

The most populous city in Texas doesn’t equal most expensive. The premium to buy in this city of more than 2 million is an estimated $341 per month.

2. San Antonio

Home Price

$255,490

Full Payment

$2,339

Rent

$1,856

Cost Difference to Buy

+$483

The 10th strongest housing market in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report, is still relatively affordable compared to most major U.S. metros. But the premium to own a home is a bit steep, costing nearly $500 more per month.

3. Dallas

Home Price

$319,718

Full Payment

$2,870

Rent

$2,277

Cost Difference to Buy

+$593

Dallas is one of the more expensive markets on the list of big Texas cities, with home prices near $320,000. The full payment including PMI, taxes, and insurance is pushing $2,900 while renting a house is under $2,300.

4. Austin

Home Price

$555,142

Full Payment

$4,692

Rent

$2,357

Cost Difference to Buy

+$2,335

Austin is an outlier in the buy-versus-rent comparison. Home prices have soared in recent years thanks to high-paying job opportunities and an “influx of out-of-state buyers,” says Norada Real Estate Investments. However home prices are starting to come down, says CNBC.

5. Fort Worth

Home Price

$299,640

Full Payment

$2,818

Rent

$2,277

Cost Difference to Buy

+$541

Home prices are a bit lower in Fort Worth compared with Dallas, though the two cities are often referred to as one metro area. Like Dallas, though, your premium to buy a house is more than $500 per month.

6. El Paso

Home Price

$214,439

Full Payment

$1,983

Rent

$1,596

Cost Difference to Buy

+$387

On the less expensive end is El Paso. Clocking in at under $215,000, the typical home costs just $387 more per month than renting.

7. Corpus Christi

Home Price

$213,392

Full Payment

$1,960

Rent

$1,812

Cost Difference to Buy

+$147

The buy versus rent question should be a simple one in Corpus Christi. Buying a home costs about $150 more than renting, thanks to relatively high rents paired with low home prices.

8. Lubbock

Home Price

$203,830

Full Payment

$1,988

Rent

$1,405

Cost Difference to Buy

+$583

Buying a home is affordable in Lubbock, but renting is more so. With just a $1,405 typical rent cost, the city is a great place to rent while you’re saving up to buy.

9. Amarillo

Home Price

$192,231

Full Payment

$1,907

Rent

$1,500

Cost Difference to Buy

+$407

It’s getting easier to buy a home in Amarillo, according to Redfin. At the time of this writing, the time homes sit on the market has increase by 20 days since a year ago. This signals a slowing market, more homes to choose from, and bigger seller concessions.

10. Brownsville

Home Price

$173,757

Full Payment

$1,639

Rent

$1,767

Cost Difference to Buy

-$127

Brownsville is the only city on the list where it costs less monthly to buy a home than rent one. According to the data, you’ll save over $100 per month on your full mortgage payment including PMI, property taxes, and homeowners insurance. And with home prices under $200,000, this could be the city that finally makes you a homeowner

Get pre-approved for your Texas home

Major cities in Texas are affordable compared to most areas of the U.S. See what home price you qualify for by requesting your pre-approval from a reputable lender.


Methodology

To compare the costs of renting versus buying in 10 Texas cities, we started with typical home prices as reported on the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) Single-Family Home Time Series for November 2023. We assumed a 5% down payment, the typical requirement for first-time buyers. We then calculated the monthly payment on a 30-year fixed mortgage using a 6.845% rate, the average rate at the time of data collection as published on Optimal Blue Mortgage Market Indices for a buyer with less than 20% down and a 700 FICO score. We added PMI costs per rates from mortgage insurance provider MGIC. Then we added annual homeowner’s insurance premiums as reported by Policygenius and property tax data from Roofstock. We assumed zero HOA dues. We compared this total housing payment with rent data from the Zillow Observed Rent Index (ZORI) Smoothed Single Family Residence Time Series. City selection was based on the highest population except where it made sense to bypass a suburb of a major city to highlight one in a different area.

About The Author:

Tim Lucas spent 11 years in the mortgage industry and now leverages that real-world knowledge to give consumers reliable, actionable advice. Tim has been featured in national publications such as Time, U.S. News, MSN, The Mortgage Reports, My Mortgage Insider, and more.

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