It’s been a long time since I rented, but here is a shot at comparing the costs associated with renting vs. the costs associated with owning a home.

Renting
Required items:
Rent
Renter’s insurance
Security deposit (presumably refundable)

Possibly required items:
Power (sometimes included in rent)
Water, sewer & garbage (usually included in rent here at least)
Appliances

Upkeep related:
N/A

Homeownership
Required items:
Down payment
House payment
Taxes
Homeowner’s insurance
Power
Water, sewer & garbage

Possibly required items:
Private mortgage insurance
HOA fees
HOA special assessments
City assessments

Upkeep-related:
Landscaping
Pest control
Paint (inside & out)
Flooring replacement
Appliances and appliance repair/replacement
Furnace, AC, water heater, heat pump maintenance, repairs & replacement
Roof repairs and eventual replacement
Miscellaneous things that need fixing from time to time
Improvements & updates

As you can see, the list for homeownership is much longer than the list for renting. That’s one of the reasons why deciding to buy a home based solely on monthly payment amounts isn’t a good idea. Renting a house for $1200 will cost you much less than buying a house for $1200. Of course, you may get mortgage deductions on your taxes if you buy a house, which may help to offset some of the expense. (But then again you may not, especially if you live in a low cost of living area.)

It’s a good idea to carefully consider all of the factors involved before making a decision to buy vs. rent.