fort lauderdale

Should I Buy or Rent in Florida?

Category: Real Estate

Are you deciding if it would be better to rent a home in Florida or buy a house? Each person has unique real estate needs that rely on several factors and the current situation to determine if buying or renting is appropriate in the Sunshine State.

Some of these variables are outside of your control. That means you’ll want to review the market conditions for where you live, your overall financial situation, and what you expect to be doing over the next couple of years.

Florida is a unique real estate market because it typically favors the seller, even when other areas of the country swing to the buyer. That means higher housing prices await your arrival.

It’s also significantly cheaper to purchase a home in Florida than in NYC. You’ll find that what you pay as a New Yorker can get you more houses when moving down south. The average cost of rent is about $1,800 monthly, while the sales price hovers around $300,000.

Renting in Florida: What Are the Benefits?

florida from the top view

Renting in Florida is ideal when you don’t want to be tied to a specific property or location. It’s also appropriate to rent if your financial situation won’t let you secure a mortgage.

If you plan to be in Florida for less than a year, rent is usually better than buy. Of course, you could still purchase a home as rental income later, but that decision involves another income source that changes your tax profile.

You aren’t responsible for as many initial costs when you choose to rent instead of buy after moving to Florida. Most property management agencies and landlords require a security deposit equal to the first month’s rent, your first month’s payment, and any prorated amount based on when you take possession.

Renting comes with the advantage of avoiding upgrade and repair costs. If something breaks and it isn’t your fault, calling the property management company or landlord to report the issue will have it fixed. You might have an option to leave if the repair doesn’t happen and the problem is severe.

If you cause damage to the property, the funds come out of your security deposit. Landlords can sue you for additional costs above that amount.

The disadvantage of renting is dealing with the property’s existing conditions. That means the flooring could be old, the paint chipping from the walls, and you don’t get to fix it without permission.

Buying a Home in Florida: What Are the Benefits?

florida houses

When you know that you’ll be in Florida for some time, the benefits of buying a home often outweigh the advantages you’d receive when renting.

After you get past the closing costs, commission fees, and down payment, you’ll find that the price of a monthly mortgage is typically less per month than what you’d pay in rent. In addition, you’re gaining equity in the property that can help your financial situation even further.

For many families and households, the key to unlocking the American dream is to invest in property upgrades.

When you purchase a home, you have more control over how to use the property. For example, even if an HOA governs the neighborhood or community, you can remodel the interior with minimal difficulty.

Homeowners get to make upgrades and repairs on a timetable that works for their needs. You’re not at the mercy of a landlord who needs to scrape up the funds to manage those issues for you.

The disadvantage is that you’re responsible for the upkeep of your property. For example, should appliances fail or the windows need to be replaced, it’s up to you to pay for those items.

Since you’re a property owner in Florida after buying a home, you’ll also be paying property taxes, HOA fees, and other expenses that fall outside the mortgage payment. Renters are rarely responsible for those costs.

What Should I Do When Moving to Florida?

If you’re moving to Florida soon, the first step to consider when buying or renting is to determine what you can afford.

Mortgages can help you get into a home. If you can’t make the monthly payment, you could lose it and significantly reduce your credit score should the foreclosure proceed. You can notice and move out without similar consequences when you rent, although evictions could make it challenging to rent another property.

When you’re ready to move, our team is here to help! Reach out today so that we can get you a competitive quote.

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