Rent vs Buy in Tampa's Strong Housing Market

Rent vs Buy in Tampa's Strong Housing Market

(WFLA) — Tampa Bay area home prices surged more than 14 percent in December, according to Florida Realtors. That’s the biggest year-over-year gain of any major metro area in Florida. 2017 is also projected to be a strong year for home sales.

Mortgage Loan Originator Brian Hiatt, of Movement Mortgage explains for residency of more that three years, Hiatt recommends buying, especially if you’re looking at homes priced up to $300,000. He points to a basic formula: how much would the home you want to buy rent for? If renting that home would cost more than the mortgage (plus taxes and PMI), it’s probably a good buy.


Hiatt used the formula to analyze the Tampa Bay area, and factored in variables including a down payment of 3 percent, a market appreciation of 3 to 4 percent, and a minimum of three years in a home.

“In 90 percent of the communities in the Tampa Bay area, rent prices are higher than the equivalent mortgage prices,” says Hiatt.

Hiatt provided these additional Pros and Cons for Renting versus Buying:

Renting – Pros:

  • Flexibility in time/location
  • Not locked in past your lease term
  • Landlord responsible for maintenance

Renting – Cons:

  • Typically more expensive for the same size/type of dwelling
  • Rent can go up every year
  • Upfront costs often include a security deposit and first/last months’ rent
  • Landlord can sell the property
  • Typically not much control over decorating/improvements

Owning – Pros:

  • Typically costs less per month than renting
  • Builds equity
  • Historic average appreciation of 3 to 4 percent
  • Income tax savings – you can itemize and deduct property taxes and percentage paid. Also, there are possible additional tax savings for first-time home buyers through the Florida Housing FTHB Tax Credit
  • You decide how long to stay

Owning – Cons:

  • Down payment can be tough to save for (although there are FTHB programs available for qualified applicants)
  • Maintenance is your responsibility

Written By: Meredyth Censullo
Meredyth Censullo Published:



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