There's a lot that goes into deciding on a purchase. When you look into a product, you examine different brands, compare sellers, and consider variations. There may be another option you should consider: renting instead of buying.

There's a certain allure to owning something outright, but it's not always the most economical option. Here are seven examples of items that are often better to rent than to buy.

1. Houses

Houses are among the most expensive things you'll buy in your lifetime. In today's real estate market, they're often so expensive that renting is the more affordable option. Buying a house is only cheaper than renting in 35% of U.S. counties, thanks to high mortgages and rising prices.

2. Textbooks

Going to college today is a pricy venture, but renting textbooks is an easy way to save some money. You'll likely only use each book for one semester, so why pay to have them forever? Online bookstores like Chegg and Amazon offer convenient shipping and returns, making renting even more desirable.

3. Office Hardware

If you run a business, you'll need to consider the cost of equipment like computers and printers. If you want to use the best hardware, you're better off renting it. If you rent instead of buying, it'll be cheaper to upgrade when newer options roll out.

4. Power Tools

Sometimes you need a power washer or a circular saw, but you probably won't use them every day. These power tools can be relatively expensive, too, so renting them is most likely your best option. Most hardware stores will offer rentals on these kinds of equipment and make it a hassle-free process.

5. Golf Carts

Golf carts are a convenient option for moving around a property or transporting goods over short distances. If you don't need to use them frequently, you may consider renting a cart instead of buying one. If you're going to use it to golf year-round then you should buy, but renting one is cheaper for use at weddings, festivals, camps, or corporate events.

6. Seasonal Items

If you only use something for part of the year, it's probably cheaper to rent it. Some seasonal equipment like campers or fishing boats can cost you quite a bit despite their limited window of use. If you rent these items when the right season comes around, you'll save a lot of money.

7. Luxury Clothing

Formal dresses and tuxedos are rarely cheap, and you probably don't wear them much. That's why these luxury clothing items and their accessories are perfect for renting. The industry knows this, too, so you can find places to rent formalwear everywhere you go.

When to Rent vs. When to Buy

There's no set answer for when it's better to rent as opposed to buying something outright. Variables like market conditions and location shift the balance of what's more affordable. You should calculate these influencing factors when deciding whether to buy or to rent.

In general, if you don't use something frequently, renting is the better option. The items listed above are often better to rent, but if you use them enough, buying is cheaper in the long run.

If you're unsure about paying for an item, you should try renting it first. If you like it enough and will use it often, then you can go ahead and buy it. No matter the case, you should always at least consider renting. It could end up saving you a considerable amount of money.

Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington