# Rent vs. Own: A Real-World Math Lesson

Duration: 90 Minutes

Subject: Math

## Objective:

Students will understand the difference between renting and owning a home and apply mathematical concepts to decide which option is best for their budget and other factors.

## Learning Standards:

• 6.NS.B.2, 7.NS.A.2: “Fluently divide multi-digit numbers using the standard algorithm.”

• 6.NS.B.3, 7.NS.A.3: “Fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide multi-digit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation.”

## Materials:

• Whiteboard or paper

• Whiteboard marker or pencil

## Part 1 of the Lesson:

1. Begin the lesson by giving each student a career with a salary. For example, assign your class as follows: 10 teachers; \$56,000, 10 police officers; \$59,000, and 10 warehouse managers; \$78,000.

2. Next, ask your students what they know about renting a home. Write their responses on the whiteboard.

4. Introduce the concept of renting and owning a home, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each option. You may create a pros vs. cons list, Venn diagram, etc., with your students.

5. Provide students with a list of the costs associated with renting and owning a home, including mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance fees, and utility bills. (Pull information from your local real estate market to make the lesson more applicable for students.)

6. Based on the provided information, students must calculate their total and monthly investment for renting and owning a home for one year. Students can complete this in small groups or as individuals.

7. Once students have correctly calculated the monthly and total investment, have them decide which option they’d choose. Example: Rent (18) Own (12)

8. Collect their votes and keep them visible on a whiteboard.

### Examples:

Monthly Cost to Rent a Home

• \$1,800 (Monthly Rent)

• \$150 (Maintenance Fees)

• \$100 (Electricity)

• \$0 (Gas, Water, Trash - included in rent)

• Total monthly investment = \$2,050

Annual Cost to Rent a Home

• \$2,700 (Deposit)

• \$1,800*12 = \$21,600 (Monthly Rent)

• \$150*12 = \$1800 (Maintenance Fees)

• 100*12 = \$1200 (Electricity)

• \$0 (Gas, Water, Trash - included in rent)

• Total investment to rent a home for 1 year = \$27,300

Monthly Cost to Own a Home

• \$2,200 (Mortgage)

• \$225 (Property Taxes)

• \$125 (Gas, Water, Trash)

• \$100 (Electricity)

• Monthly investment to own a home = \$2,650

Annual Cost to Own a Home

• \$18,000 (Down Payment)

• \$2,200*12 = (Mortgage)

• \$2,700 = (Property Taxes)

• 125*12 = (Gas, Water, Trash)

• 100*12 = (Electricity)

• Total investment to own a home for 1 year = \$49,800

## Part 2 of the Lesson:

1. Now provide your students with a list of factors to consider when deciding whether to rent or own a home, such as:

• Financial stability (Do they have the means to put a down on a home?)

• Lifestyle (Do they travel often or need a large home?)

• Employment (Do they often travel for work? Or will a new job happen shortly?)

• Willingness to Maintain a House (Do they want to tend to a yard and fix any issues?)

1. Discuss the various factors above in small groups keeping in mind each student has an assigned career and annual salary.

2. When the discussion has finished, ask your students if any of the above factors have a greater weight when choosing to rent or own a home.

3. Finally, ask your students if their previous choice of renting or owning a home has changed.

4. Count your student's votes, and display this round of votes next to the original ones. Example: Rent (18/14) Own (12/16)

5. Select a few students to share why they may or may not have changed their final answer.

## Assessment:

Student assessment will be based on the following:

• The accuracy and completeness of their calculations, the clarity and organization of their data, and their participation in class discussions.

• Their ability to apply mathematical concepts to real-life situations and to make informed decisions based on their findings.

## Homework or Extra Credit Assignment:

To add to the lesson above, have students research the housing market in their local area to see how rental and home ownership costs compare. Have them create a presentation or report on their findings.

Written by Brooke Lektorich
Education World Contributor