Rent vs. Buy in Florida – Things to Consider
Walt Disney knew it; The Beach Boys knew it; Lana Del Rey knows it; Florida is the spot. Palm trees, light breeze, forever blue skies, and a Rum Runner in your hand. This micro heaven is no longer exclusively reserved for sun-hungry retirees; younger populations are also flocking to the divine southeast. With all that’s been going on in the world, our need to decompress and find the coordinates of the inner and exterior calm is what makes Florida a champion of serenity and why it is people’s favorite pick. All you need is a home. And housing can be perplexing beyond reason. So, rent vs. buy in Florida, what’s it going to be?
Know your options
Florida has embraced almost 3 million newcomers in the past decade, making its real estate market hotter than the Sun. With the Gulf of Mexico caressing its left cheek and the Atlantic Ocean kissing its right cheek, this tropical state knows its worth, as do all Floridians. It’s home to 10 of the fastest-growing places in the United States due to its pro-business government. This perpetual influx dictates property value, making the housing market more difficult to understand and predict. Should I get on the homeownership train? Will the housing bubble burst? Will I lose money? Is it the right time to invest?
Buying a home
Properties for sale are running low on stock in Florida. The pandemic has impacted the housing market globally, and Florida is not exempt; we have witnessed an astonishing increase in home price tags, and it’s expected to keep on trending through 2022 and beyond. Median home values in Florida have gone up by 24% only in the past year (and 70% over the past 5), reaching around $330,000 at the moment, varying from county to county.
Timing is everything
The pandemic has changed the game. Mortgage rates have never been this low, making the homeownership idea plausible and more tangible than ever. Many renters have decided to ride the low-interest wave, opting to secure their forever home while the tide is high. Studies have shown that renters spend around 30% of their income solely on rent. In contrast, homeowners spend approximately 18% on their mortgage for the same property, thus suggesting that owning a home is far cheaper than renting one. As opposed to the predicted rising rent, the fixed payment is another plus for the homeownership club.
The perks of homeownership
Building equity. Property values in Florida keep on climbing the ladder. 8% just in the past year, with a strong tendency for continual growth. Purchasing a home now could be a good investment. If you decide to sell your property down the line, you will get to see the return on your investment and earn what could potentially be a significant sum. Rent vs. buy in Florida? You decide.
It’s not all sunshine
Being a homeowner has its downsides, too. Down payment, closing costs, commission fees, homeowner insurance, property taxes. Emphasis on insurance. This is Florida, home to tropical storms and unwelcome floods. When you’re not renting, all the bills – from utilities to repairs – come knocking on one door: yours. Buying a house comes with great responsibility. Before making the final call, it might be a good idea to get some financial guidance and make a bulletproof strategy.
Renting a home
Whether you’re buying or renting, the prices are raging. Popular areas are experiencing rent increases as high as 25%. Why? We could call it the Floridian gentrification complex. The equation is fairly simple: a flourishing job market + no income tax = an influx of newcomers. Influx = rent jumping. Not all is lost, renters! Read on.
It all depends
Not all of us need to move to Miami. We love it, but weekend trips will do just fine, with median rent reaching $4,000 per month. If you’re a renter by heart, Tampa ($2,300), Orlando ($2,200), and Jacksonville ($1,300) might be more gentle with your wallet. If your wallet likes it a bit rough, moving to heavenly Palm Beach ($3,300) should be your next stop. Renters know that wandering can take a toll on us; that’s why it’s always important to have moving professionals help with your transfer. Sure, it will add to the expenses, but you’ll save yourself from quite a few headaches.
If the property is not yours, you can’t suffer any value losses. A decrease in property value seldom happens and is usually due to external factors. If your renting property is a “sinking ship,” you don’t have to go down with it; you can simply move out.
With ownership comes responsibility; with renting comes freedom. There are no hidden costs; your landlord is the rightful owner, and all that needs fixing and replacing is their duty. More often than not, all your utilities are covered through rent – internet, electricity, water, trash, etc. You avoid paying taxes and insurance. A security deposit will probably be the only “investment” you’re obligated to make, and with a guaranteed refund (if there is no damage to the property).
You say when
You’re in charge. The moment your lease ends, you can close one door and open another: another neighborhood, another county, a different state. Renting gives you the room to explore and find what suits your needs best—purchasing a home ties down a free soul. It’s true; you can always sell what you buy, but who loves bureaucracy? Procedures, documents, real estate agents. Go rent.
Hasty never wins the race
Renting has its fair share of drawbacks, too, from agreeing to someone else’s aesthetic appeal to being at your landlord’s mercy to replace the dryer. Both homeownership and renting have a dualistic character, as do all things. To find the answer to rent vs. buy in Florida, you need to have a nice, long chat with yourself to understand where you stand and what the next logical step would be. Gather as much information as you can, process it, get in touch with a certified real estate agent, crunch the numbers and get moving.