Renting Vs Buying in Tampa, FL - Which is Best?

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By Lance Mohr

Buying or renting a condo or home in Tampa is a decision that many people face. Many believe the best option is purchase. However, this is not usually the case for someone that is moving into the Tampa area from other locations. They may not be familiar with the areas, the best routes to travel or the communities around. In such cases, it is usually best to find a rental on a short-term basis that will allow them some time to familiarize themselves to the area.

The Tampa Bay area encompasses Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, besides all the suburbs located around these metropolitan areas. This means there are many choices for the home of your dreams. If you are torn between whether you should buy a home or condo in Tampa, versus renting, it helps to feel confident with a purchasing decision. A Tampa Realtor can help you, or at least show you the homes and condos you can afford to purchase, based on your needs.

In recent years, home prices have suffered drastic declines, in the Florida housing market. While some sellers have been able to sell their homes at market prices, others have been renting them out. It's possible you are paying more in rent, when it may be more affordable to purchase a similar home, especially with low housing prices and historically-low mortgage interest rates. If you have a down payment, decent credit and stable income, you may be better off buying in Tampa, versus renting.

Rents have been increasing, because fewer investment properties are on the market. This will ultimately lead rent becoming even higher, as there will be less people who can qualify for a home purchase. Right now with the prices of home being so low, buying a condo or home in Tampa may be a fantastic idea, and you won't have to worry about your rent being increased on a regular basis.

Pride of ownership gives you more freedom to upgrade or customize your home, to fit your needs. On the downside, you could incur additional expenses, since you won't have a landlord to call, when something needs repair.

A real estate professional can help you pre-qualify for a mortgage or estimate your down payment and closing costs, to analyze affordability. A landlord may require a security deposit, besides first and last month's rent, but it's possible to find financing arrangements which require about the same amount to purchase a home and move in.

Owning your own home or condo will require a down payment, closing costs, (unless you negotiate the seller to pay them), inspections, taxes, and insurance. Home ownership is considered a long-term investment, so you should plan to stay in the home for at least three years or longer. If your employment is unstable or you are subject to job transfers, renting may be a safer option. Your Tampa Realtor can help you come to a conclusion as to whether renting or buying is the most feasible option, for you.

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