February 16, 2016

I am often contacted by new clients that are looking for rental options in the Tampa area. There are many good reasons why a person may choose to rent, the most common being that they’re new to the area and aren’t sure where they want to be long term, or that they’re working on their credit or need some time to save up for a down payment. If renting a home looks like your “middle step,” here are some ideas to consider, as making a purchase may instead be in your better interest.

1. The rental market in Tampa is on fire, and not in the lessee’s favor! With supply being low and demand being high, gone are the days of finding an inexpensive unit to occupy while saving for a home. Most rental clients I work with are shocked to find how little is available in even the $1,000-$1,400 range, and about how very selective property managers can be when choosing their tenants.

2. Because the rates for rentals are so high right now, paying rent can actually cost you the same or more than a mortgage payment in some circumstances, without providing the benefit of using your mortgage interest and property taxes as valuable write offs when filing your taxes. These can add up to a nicer tax return every year, and are definitely worth considering when planning for your financial future!

3. If you own a home, you can most likely expect a return on your investment (ROI) over time. Especially with the challenges the real estate market faced over the last decade, some people fear that they will lose money after investing in a property. This is understandable! The market is definitely enjoying a comeback right now, and while there is no real estate “crystal ball,” history tells us that on average, real property appreciates at about 3% on average a year.

4. If renting IS your only option at this point, maximize the benefit and take full advantage of it being your “middle step.” If your goals are to fix your credit score or save money for a down payment or closing costs, make sure you’re not defeating the purpose by splurging on a penthouse suite! Your “in between” rental doesn’t need to be your ultimate dream home–if you’re using this year or two to save for a home, it will make the most sense to stay toward the lower end of your budget, and expect to make some compromises. If you’re spending $200 less every month for the rental that doesn’t have marble countertops and new stainless appliances, those savings can be almost $5,000 at the end of two years! Get fired up knowing that you are saving for your future by living more within your means. If you do this, the small compromises you are making now will set you up to be a homeowner even sooner than you dreamed possible.

If you are looking for an experienced real estate agent that will always have your best interests in mind feel free to send me a message or give me a call. I would be happy to help answer any questions you have and assist you in any way I can.