The debate over whether buying or renting a home is a more viable financial option has been going on for years. While generally, the cost of monthly mortgage payments has been higher than that of rental prices, the cost of renting has been rising at a rapid rate in recent years. As a result, in many areas, the cost of buying a home is now less than rental costs. As many mortgage companies would be quick to note, the advantages of building equity through mortgage payments (as well as the other long-term benefits of home ownership) mean that in many areas, there has never been a better time to buy.