With the real estate market fluctuating,determining whether you should buy or rentproperty can be a challenge. According to, you need to ask yourself a veryimportant question: Do you plan to live inthe house for less than 2 years (or 5 years ina city that is growing pretty slowly)? If youranswer is yes, your rent or buy dilemma ispretty clear: rent. By the time you pay closingcosts and broker's fees on the purchaseand sale of a property, you'll lose 5% to10% of the home's value. But, if you plan tolive in the home longer, that's when theanswer gets blurry. Making up the differencebetween the rent and mortgage youwould pay annually depends on the areaand the percent you hope your property willappreciate each year. So, if you are one ofmany people who feel that renting is burningmoney and purchasing property will bebetter—think twice. There are mathematicalequations to consider, which can put youahead or behind if you purchase a house.