Renting vs. Buying a Home in Denver, a 2021 Analysis

May 1, 2017
Last updated:
November 23, 2021
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In many cities across the U.S., home buyers could afford the monthly payments on a house for about the same as what they would pay in rent, or even less. Denver is one of those areas where buying could be cheaper than renting when compared on a monthly basis.

In This Article

What’s the cost of renting versus buying a home in Denver, in 2021? This is a common question among Denver-area renters who are considering the purchase of a home. And we have a fully updated rent-versus-buy analysis that could help you answer this question.

Renting vs. Buying a Home in Denver: 2021 Update

Recently, the real estate information company Zillow published a housing study that compared the costs of renting and buying in Denver, Colorado, as well as other cities across the country.

Their in-depth analysis showed that renters in Denver could buy a house without increasing their monthly housing costs. In some cases, the monthly housing costs could actually decrease after buying, depending on the situation.

Here’s a breakdown of the renting-versus-buying cost comparison for 2021:

  • The average rent in Denver is currently $1,635 as of January 2021.
  • The median home price in the city was around $484,264, during the same month.
  • If we assume a down payment of 10%, which is a common range, that would give us a loan amount of $435,838.
  • Assuming a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at today’s current rate of 2.65%, you would be looking at monthly mortgage payments of $1,752.95. That’s only slightly higher than rent in Denver, and can afford you with a valuable asset that will increase in equity over time.

According to Zillow’s Chief Economist, Dr. Svenja Gudell: “Renters hesitant to enter the home buying market for fear of not being able to find an affordable home should be encouraged to discover they may have more options than they thought.”

Of course, this scenario just looks at the financial factors relating to renting or buying a home in Denver, during 2021. There are other things to consider as well, including home maintenance, lifestyle, amenities, and how long you plan to stay in the house. But when it comes to monthly housing costs, buying can be cheaper than renting in Denver.

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Minimizing Your Down Payment

Down payments play a big role here as well. When considering the rent-versus-buy question, you have to look beyond the monthly costs. Homebuyers usually encounter upfront costs as well, and the down payment can be the most significant.

But there are some myths and misconceptions regarding the down payment on a house. One of the biggest misconceptions is that Denver home buyers have to put 20% down when buying a house.

That’s not always true. In fact, modern mortgage programs allow for down payments as low as 3% of the purchase price, in some cases. Military members who are eligible for VA financing can buy with nothing down.

Additionally, the down payment funds could be provided by a third party, such as a family member or close friend. This is known as a down payment gift.

The bottom line is that renters who compare the costs of renting and buying a house in Denver in 2021 might be surprised by what they find. In many cases, the monthly costs of owning a home can be equal to — or even less than — renting a place.

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Have Questions About Mortgages in Denver?

Whether you are ready to apply for a home loan in Denver or just have questions about them, we can help. Sammamish Mortgage is a local, family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington that lends in all of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Colorado since 1992. We offer a wide variety of mortgage programs and tools with flexible qualification criteria. Please contact us if you have mortgage-related questions.

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