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Is It More Cost-Effective to Buy a House or Rent in Your City?

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To buy, or not to buy? That is the question — and the answer might surprise you.

The general rule that it's almost always better to buy a home than rent got flipped on its head during the housing market crash of 2008, leaving many Americans skittish about committing to home buying.

Now, seven years later, it could make more sense to buy again in most of the country.

Working with real estate database Zillow, Business Insider broke down the nation's biggest housing markets and found that price-to-rent ratios had fallen below 20 in most major cities — meaning buying is again a better financial proposition than renting.

The two big exceptions: California and Hawaii.

Watch the report below:

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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