A tale of two condos: 136 and 144 N. Rios, Solana Beach

To buy or to rent? That is the question.

In March we posted about 144 N. Rios, a lovely condo that inexplicably wasn't selling at the low low price of just $1.55 million. Well, Varones readers haven't missed the boat: it's still available.

Let's do the math on that. If you're can find someone who will give you a jumbo loan for 5.5% (good luck!) with 20% down, you'll pay $7000 a month. Add in $1500 a month for property taxes and $150 a month in HOA fees, and the lost $1000 a month you would be earning in munis on your down payment, and a few hundred for insurance and maintenance, and you're looking at $10,000 a month. Plus depreciation.

Meanwhile, next door is a luxury 3-bedroom condo with an ocean view for rent for $2775 a month.

You make the call.

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