This is the classic housing question that everyone struggles with at some point… should you pay rent every month to support someone else's investment, or should you invest in a home of your own?Every housing market has a tipping point where it becomes smarter to put that money towards a mortgage payment instead of rent, but knowing where you stand in relation to that point can be tricky. Fortunately, Trulia has just announced the release of their Rent vs. Buy Calculator - a tool that their chief economist lauds as being the most sophisticated of its kind.The basic settings of the Rent vs. Buy Calculator let you compare monthly rent costs and home prices, allowing you to see the difference in monthly costs in your metro area. By working backwards from these price points, you can use the calculator to determine what home price you should be looking for if you want to match your current monthly payments.The Rent vs. Buy Calculator takes a lot of information into account, including tax brackets, mortgage rates, property taxes, utilities, insurance, and more. Users can toggle to the advanced settings to choose even more data points that include "economic assumptions" like renovations, rent or home price appreciation, inflation, and even opportunity costs for upfront buying.If you are thinking about buying a home but aren't sure if you can afford to make the switch from renting, try the calculator to see what you can actually afford. You might be surprised at how close you are to owning your own home!