Should You Buy or Rent in SW Florida?


Perhaps you have visited Florida recently and have seen a number of Fort Myers homes for sale among other townships within Southwest Florida. You may be wondering if it is better to rent or own a home in this market. This is a popular question in the Southwest Florida real estate industry and not isolated to just Southwest Florida. Although many real estate experts may advise you to buy a home because it is cheaper in the long run due to tax advantages as well as the chance to build equity, times have changed and what is right for one person’s budget may not necessarily be the right choice for another. It’s important to consider both buying and renting first and weigh the options for each has their own share of pros and cons.

On a national scale, home values are expected to go up by 1.7 percent over the next year. This means that home and apartment rentals are going up much faster, in an average of five to six percent a year. Although, every city in Florida is different, expect that in Fort Myers and Naples, the prices can double. If you are planning to move to Florida and are undecided whether to buy or rent a home, here are some tips:

Compute Your Monthly Expenses

Find out the house expenses that you will incur each month. A good rule is that the monthly expenses should be less than the 30% of your monthly income. Find out what your mortgage payment would be plus the additional expenses such as taxes, interest, and insurance, cost of living etc.

How Long Do You Plan To Stay

If deciding whether to buy or rent a house, consider your time table. Are you staying in Florida for good or do you plan to change residences in a matter of years or months? Stan Humphries, the chief economist at Zillow, said that "The shorter your time horizon, the more it makes sense to rent." Three years of stay, according to real estate agents are enough to overcome the costs of home purchase. However, it still depends on the local home market if it is appreciating.

Know Your Income

Understanding your cash flow is a very important aspect in your decision. A person who receives a predictable income can benefit from a long-term mortgage plan. On the other hand, those who do not have stable jobs can think of renting first or buying a house with low value.

Do not rush when buying a home. It needs careful budgeting and management. If planning to move, consider the tips above to help you decide whether your next move will be in a new house or an apartment in your dream area. You can also talk to us for real estate advice.
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