Stephenson County, Illinois — A financial technology company has calculated Stephenson County among the best in Illinois in which to buy a residence, rather than rent.
SmartAsset ranks Stephenson County seventh in a top-10 Illinois list it released Tuesday morning. The firm’s study compares average rent and home prices to find where buying makes the most sense, according to a news release.
Specifically, SmartAsset says they compared the total costs of buying and renting a typical home or rental in each county, for a household earning $100,000 a year. For the “buy” scenario, they made the following assumptions: a mortgage rate of 4.5%, closing costs of $2,000 and a down payment of 20%. For each county, SmartAsset calculated the break even point in the buy vs. rent decision— the point at which the total costs of renting become greater than the total costs of buying.
The break-even point between renting and buying in Stephenson County is just under a year and a half, according to the SmartAsset calculation.
The average monthly mortgage payment in Stephenson County is $549, according to SmartAsset. Average monthly rent is $894. Average home price is $143,476.
The top Illinois county in the SmartAsset rankings was St. Clair, which is home to Belleville and East St. Louis. Winnebago County (Rockford) was second, Kankakee County third and Effingham County fifth.
Stephenson County also ranks best as far as cheapest counties to buy or rent, at least among the larger places in the state.
SmartAsset lists average Stephenson County mortgage payments at $549, rent at $894 and average home price at $143,476. The county is seventh on the overall SmartAsset list.
Freeport is the Stephenson County seat. That city is home to two fine golf courses and what we Freeportians believe is the best high school nickname in Illinois, a distinction it shares with New Berlin.
The Peoria Journal Star says that Freeport’s proximity to Wisconsin cheese and beer “gives Freeport our nod, however”.
They add, “What are pretzels without either?”
You can view the full report here.