Answer: The short answer is another question. Do you plan on being here for at least three years?
If the answer is no, it may be a safer bet to rent. A general rule of thumb is it takes approximately three years to recoup the cost of purchasing. (Think fees for loan application, inspections, closing attorney, recording documents, etc.)
If the answer is yes, then buying is something you should seriously consider. The opportunity to be building equity, both through payments and an increase in value could create a nice bundle of money when it comes time to leave.
For a more in-depth an answer we have to look at the market. Here in Wilmington, rents are going up. In many cases, the cost difference between renting and owning is pretty close. Don’t assume that renting will save you money in this area.
Despite the overall recommendation to buy, one caveat I would add is: if you are totally unfamiliar with your new town, is a short term lease may be a good way to start out. Take a few months to explore your new hometown and to figure out traffic patterns, what restaurants and stores you like, and which beach is your favorite. That way when it comes time to buy, you’ll know exactly where you want to be.