A childhood friend of mine recently posted the following on Facebook:

“I was listening to NPR’s Marketplace weekend show, and there was a piece on renting versus buying a home. The generation after ours has seen how the housing bubble burst, and they’re tending to rent with no plans to ever buy a house/condo. Any opinions? As for us, we bought our house at the height of the bubble and then watched it lose almost $30K in value in one year. We’re slowly gaining equity again, but we certainly didn’t expect this to happen.”

She has racked up 23 comments and counting. The opinions are all over the board:

A responsible landlord is like gold!”

I too bought at the height of the bubble and over the last few years I’ve lost $50K in value. I wish I had rented instead. I love the flexibility of renting. Owning is an elaborate set of leg irons.”

“…we’ve watched [our house] lose almost a third of its “value”. But, the thought of ever renting from someone again—bleah.”

We have been very hesitant to buy. I’m sure my parents were in their 2nd home when they are 30! Real estate doesn’t seem like the “investment” it used to be. Also, our generation moves more and “settles down” later than the preceding generation and owning a home “ties” one down.”

One post cited a calculator from The New York Times to help determine if you should buy or rent.  But perhaps this is too big of a question to be determined by a newspaper logarithm.

Did you buy or do you rent?  And do you stand by your decision?