Study: Franklin, Benton county among best places in state to own home

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Benton and Franklin counties ranked among the best places to own a home in Washington, according to a recent study.

SmartAsset’s third annual study compared average rent and home prices in counties across the U.S. to find the places where buying makes the most sense.

The financial technology firm compared the total costs of buying and renting a typical home in each county, for a household earning $100,000 a year. For the “buy” scenario, it made the following assumptions: a mortgage rate of 4.5 percent, closing costs of $2,000, and a down payment of 20 percent.

For each county, it found the break-even point in the buy-versus-rent decision — the point at which the total costs of renting become greater than the total costs of buying.

The counties with the shortest time to break even are the best places to buy.

In Franklin County, the break-even point was at two years and in Benton County is was three years.

Franklin County’s average monthly mortgage payment is $655, while its average monthly rent payment is $1,211, according to the study.

Benton County’s average monthly mortgage payment is $723, while its average monthly rent payment was the same as its neighboring county at $1,211, according to the study.

Topping the SmartAsset list at No. 1 was Grays Harbor County.

More information about the study, including the methodology and interactive map, can be found at: https://smartasset.com/mortgage/rent-vs-buy – Washington.