Rents on the rise

Rents, on the other hand, have been moving higher over the last 5 years or so, a product of supply and demand.

“The demand for rental properties has never been higher, and because of the high demand, the expense has never been higher either, said Dana Dillard Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at Nationstar Mortgage.

Real estate site Zillow recently reported that rents have escalated in some markets where they had remained flat for years.

For example, rents in Kansas City were up 8.5% year-over-year in January. The average rent in St. Louis was up 4.4% after being flat, or even falling, in previous years.

If you rent your home you can expect the rent to go up every year. For the nation as a whole, Zillow reports rents rose 3.3% from 2014 to 2015.

But if the water heater goes out, you don't have to pay to repair or replace it – the landlord does. If you decide to move out of the area, you don't have to sell a home first.