The ActiveRain Stuff You Won't Find Anywhere Else on the Web

Best Tool for Agents Wanting Buyers - What You Pay In Rent

This 'rent calculation' card was why I bought my first home back in 1985.

When anyone sees how much they spend in rent, it's depressing and alarming to see how much it adds up to over time. In my scenario, I was spending $850.00 per month to live in a 2 bdrm Condominium in Martinez, CA. I rented that place from Vince Manzarri for more than 3+ years while working at First American Title in Concord, CA. 

When I saw how much this totaled over time and how much of his mortgage I had been paying, it really made me upset with "myself" for throwing the better part of my salary into someone else's homeownership.

Try it yourself:

1. Write down how much you spend/spent on monthly rent?
2. How long on average do/did you rent?
3. Lookup your monthly rent, then go to the yearly row 

This should be enough to open the door to "ANY" renter for a conversation about the potential of buying a home vs renting someone else's. Remind your prospects and clients that money spent on rent has no tax benefit, can't be recouped, you're paying off someone else's home and for a few bucks more or less, you can own your own!

I created this using Google Drive and a spreadsheet. I didn't factor in equity or interest on money spent, just the raw total of what it costs over time to rent. You would want to make sure you add your branding and contact information to a piece like this, I guaranty renters and first-time buyers will be knocking your door down to buy a home. 



"Learn More. Get More. Do More. Be More."

Comment balloon 47 commentsBrad Andersohn • March 18 2019 04:36PM


This is a great idea!! Thank you for sharing. I am embarassed to say I am just now learning to use Google Drive and their spread sheets. They are so easy. I am going to give this a try! Thank you.

Posted by Jerri McCombs, Broker, Hendersonville NC Relocation (Dogwood Real Estate Services) over 1 year ago

Hi Jerri - thanks. I thought many more agents would respond to something like this?!? I’ve helped 1000’s of Agents get buyers with this tool. Anyone that sees the response of a renter when they see this card will never use another tool for buyers leads and closings.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) over 1 year ago

Brad Andersohn - This is a GREAT illustration! Many people are so busy just getting through the day and don't even know where their rent money is going or how it impacts their future.

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) over 1 year ago


If I could give this post 100 likes, I'd do it!  The financial benefits of home ownership are real - thanks for the very helpful visual!

Posted by Linda Piper (Planatek Financial, Inc.) over 1 year ago

Hi Patricia - I'm glad you found and liked this post. Now I hope you find hundreds of renters who can and will be YOUR buyers.  :)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) over 1 year ago

Linda - your comment alone was worth MORE than 100 likes!! Thanks :)

This card puts the financial benefits of home ownership at the forefront of the renters' mind. It's a proven success strategy over many decades.


Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) over 1 year ago

Here's what it looks like when you add interest to that monthly rent.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) over 1 year ago

If you want to work with a Lender as we did, you can also put something together like this...

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) over 1 year ago

Hi Brad Andersohn - I saw this through Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP and am glad that she shared it with us.  I don't get many first time buyers in my market but it sure can open up their eyes. 

I never rented, I bought my first home at 20.  I am so glad I did! 

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Realty) over 1 year ago

Brad Andersohn - I'm glad to see this post FEATURED! 

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) over 1 year ago

Congrats on the feature... I will use that idea and thank you.  I do use Google Drive all the time. Love it..

Posted by Dana Basiliere, Making deals "Happen" (Rossi & Riina Real Estate) over 1 year ago

Brad - I have been a fan and follower for over a decade. Thanks for the tip and great tool that will come in handy!

Posted by Heather Tawes Nelson, Associate Broker, ABR, CLHMS, CRS - Scottsdale, AZ (Realty ONE Group) over 1 year ago

Great post, Brad. Thanks for sharing an "eye opener" for the spring market when tenants are asked whether or not they plan to renew for an aditional year!

Posted by Julie P. Leslie (Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services) over 1 year ago

Fantastic Brad! It's not as "eye opening" when you simply throw a monthly number out there or compare it to a mortgage payment. Once on paper like this, a prospect can really get the full picture of the money that they could be applyig towards home ownership/equity.  Thanks, Dan

Posted by Dan Jasmer, Changing the way you look at real estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate) over 1 year ago

Perfect tool to use in converting renters to is a win win.  Thanks for the idea!

Posted by Christine O'Shea (Christine E O'Shea Broker) over 1 year ago

there are some good rent vs. buy calculators that determine what the breakeven point is even including closing costs.  

Posted by Scott Hoen, COO, Hollywood Title Company 714-270-9607 ( over 1 year ago

Don't have a problem creating renter awareness of cash in the trash when they stay on the sidelines from home ownership. Every single renter laments how they want to get a set of house keys but our biggest job is helping them get bankable. My first home in 1981 was 12.25% fixed in a time of 16.5% adjustable mortgage rates. You don't rent until rates moderate... you do the best you can and refinance and pay down whatever mortgage you have Brad Andersohn . We do use the spreadsheet for amortization of a land loan to show the seller the return from making his or her sale into an annuity carrying the mortgage with owner financing a lot!

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 1 year ago

Excellent!  I love visuals.

Posted by JoAnn Young, Florida Real Estate (Young & Young Properties ) over 1 year ago

Wow thanks for the reminder ! I’ve had one of these for years , but forgot all about it ! Don’t forget to add a statement that RATES ARE DROPING !

Posted by Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist (KW Elite ) over 1 year ago

What an excellent post! Clear, concise, and toward a very eye-opening point. Thanks!

Posted by Dennis J. Zisa & Associates, Inc., 29 years in So. Jersey and the Greater Camden area (Dennis J. Zisa & Associates, Inc.) over 1 year ago

Brad, maybe I should brand this with my info and send it to my 65 renters?

How are you doing my friend. I still remember flying you to Tennessee for that training.

Posted by Mike Frazier, Northwest Tennessee Realtor (Carousel Realty of Dyer County) over 1 year ago

Awesome post!  Thank you so much!!  I will use this.


Posted by Anita S. Zahn, Highlands County Real Estate Source! I work 4 U! (Advantage Realty 863-840-1420) over 1 year ago

Hi Brad -- you've given me a GREAT idea for a handout at a buyer's information night we're holding next month. Nice to see you back here on the Rain.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 1 year ago

Thanks for sharing, average closed rental in MLS in the main town in my market is just over $1800/month, a lot of these people should be buying

Posted by Jonathan Hall, Realtor - Danbury,CT Area Real Estate~203-417-0523 (William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty) over 1 year ago

What a great tool to show renters and first time home buyers, Brad. That's a niche market that I need to spend more time on. 

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, over 1 year ago

What a fantastic Post Brad Andersohn so miss your amazing tools. Can not thank you enough for sharing this video. Brilliant shared it on Facebook. My heart is happy to see a high tech post from ActiveBrad again surreal   

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) over 1 year ago

Hi Brad,
It's amazing how fast it adds up.  When you consider the tax advantages of financing a home and the fact that someday you will be mortgage free, it's pretty much a no-brainer, isn't it?   Rent is gone forever.  A mortgage is a path to a rent-free life, which I've been enjoying for 18 years now. 

Posted by Carol Williams, Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager (Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals.) over 1 year ago

Hi Brad! SOOOOO good to see you here and what a great post to share! Most people understand better, something that is right in front of them, demonstrating the exact point that we try to make verbally! Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 1 year ago

Thanks for the idea Brad. The whole conversation gets a bit more complicated, but this is a great idea to start a discussion!

Posted by Jon Boyd, Ann Arbor Real Estate Buyers Agent (Home Buyer's Agent of Ann Arbor) over 1 year ago

Hi Brad - when it's there in black and white, the facts are difficult to dispute.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 over 1 year ago

Great post Brad Andersohn ... I will put something together to share online and with Renters!  We need the FACTS ... Thank you!

Posted by Diana Dahlberg, Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563 (1 Month Realty) over 1 year ago

Great idea, Brad! I'm going to use this for sure. I don't even have to change the branding. 

Posted by Ken & Velma | The Rohn Group, REALTORS®, GRI®, Serving Gilbert, SE Maricopa and Pinal Counties (Dream Team International) over 1 year ago

Brad Andersohn , this is a great idea. I like how Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 put it,"cash in the trash". It is eye-opening when you look at the aggregated numbers. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by Krista Jenkins, REALTOR®, Residential sales and retail & office leasing (klm Real Estate) over 1 year ago

I understood this concept a long time ago and was happy to buy a home and stop paying rent.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) over 1 year ago

Brad, thanks for sharing. The visual is quick and easy to follow and does not require a lot of talk.

Very helpful.


Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA over 1 year ago

Hey Brad:

Thanks for sharing this. The visuals - the video and the chart - are pretty compelling. And I think the average rent is higher than $1800 here so the amount tenants are spending per year can become pretty staggering over time, with little to show for it other than having a place to live.

Have a great weekend!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) over 1 year ago

I agree with you in principal. The numbers favor home ownership, esp if you can make extra payments.  However, so many pp want to own but can't find decent inventory in their price range,--or, difficult to save up for down payment, closing costs with all the other obligations they have (student loans for one). The middle class is shrinking b/c wages do not keep up with inflation

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) over 1 year ago

Thanks for all the great feedback and comments. Mary also makes a great point regarding cost of living, inflation, and income. I agree.

It’s good to know we have many programs out there to assist buyers who have student loans, lower income, bad credit etc. Relocation is sometimes inevitable in life’s journey but can also be a blessing in disguise.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) over 1 year ago

Great reminder! Sometimes I involve a lender to help further crunch the numbers to show possible tax advantages.

Posted by Dave Rosenmarkle, 33 years of providing fully satisfying service! (Highland Realty, Inc) over 1 year ago

This is a great idea, Brad. I'm going to emulate your idea. It's a good peice to include in marketing materials, or for use at Opens. Thanks much. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) over 1 year ago

Brad time to right another post it feels like it has been years:))Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) over 1 year ago

Brad Andersohn Really Nice Tool, so many uses, will definitely out to use.  Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Kris Collis, Associate Broker, Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525 (Smart Way America Realty) about 1 year ago


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