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Landlords' new weapon: financial education

July 13, 2009 |  1:59 am

In many depressed real estate markets, monthly mortgage payments have fallen below average area rents. Rents are falling to narrow the gap, but the National Apartment Assn.has begun a campaign to make consumers aware of the true costs of home ownership.

The group has put together an "are you ready for home ownership" quiz,filled with the kinds of basic questions seemingly ignored during the housing bubble. Examples: "Do you know how to calculate your debt-to-income ratio?" and  "Have you factored in the total costs of owning a home beyond the mortgage payment?"

Perhaps even more useful than the quiz, which in the above link appears on the Indiana Apartment Assn's website, are articles on the site that advise potential buyers on the impact of maintenance costs, taxes and 100% financing on long-term home ownership. 

Yes, promoting renting is obviously in the interest of landlords, but putting out more information to prevent uninformed home purchases is surely helpful, isn't it ?   

--Peter Y. Hong