According to a financial research firm, Malheur County is at the top of the list identifying counties in Oregon where buying a home may be better than renting, but in either case Malheur has the lowest rates in rentals and mortgages.

The firm’s report shows that Malheur County has the lowest average payments for both. The average mortgage rate in the county was put at $945, with $1,112 the average monthly rate of rent. The study compares the financial impact of renting a three-bedroom home versus the cost of buying one, and also looks at where buying a home becomes financially favorable in the shortest amount of time. According to SmartAsset, it bases a decision on whether to buy a home depending on how many years a person plans to stay there.

Costs of buying were set using a $30,000 year fixed mortgage, with an interest rate of 4.5%, closing costs of $2,000 and 20% down payment.

“There is no clear answer to the rent vs. buy question,” the report reads. “In some cities, and for some individuals , buying a home makes more sense, while for others, renting a home may be the better choice. This makes it even more important to run the numbers and see what is best for you and your family.”

The decision often comes down to what one can afford.

In a separate study, Smart Asset ranked Malheur County in the counties having the lowest property taxes among Oregon’s 35 counties. Malheur County was No. 6, with an average of $1,405. However, County Treasurer Jennifer Forsyth said given the number of different property assessments and levies around the county she could not confirm the figure.

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