I get asked this question frequently. Thanks to the NYTimes, there is a cool interactive web page that helps to answer
Is It Better to Rent or Buy?
By MIKE BOSTOCK, SHAN CARTER and ARCHIE TSE
The choice between buying a home and renting one is among the biggest financial decisions that many adults make. But the costs of buying are more varied and complicated than for renting, making it hard to tell which is a better deal. To help you answer this question, our calculator takes the most important costs associated with buying a house and computes the equivalent monthly rent.
(click on the graphic below to be taken to the page that allows you to enter your specifics)