Is buying a house really better than renting?

So many people mindlessly repeat the line that “buying a house is better, because when you rent, you’re throwing your money away.” That’s true in some cases, and false in others, so check your assumptions at the door. This calculator from the NYT is great. Click Advanced Settings to play with the underlying assumptions.

(Quick reminder that, historically, the stock market beats the housing market in the long run. Your current bubble may vary.)

Given housing prices in Boulder, the likely stagnation or fall in house prices, and cheap rent where we are, buying here makes little sense. In your own situation, what actually results in you spending less money? Quit assuming, and play with the numbers!