Have you ever thought about moving to the sunshine state of Florida? One of the first questions you will ask yourself is, “Should I rent or buy in Florida?” Let’s look at the pros and cons of Renting vs Buying in Florida!
If you are renting it is easier to move again. You don’t have to worry about making a large purchase and being stuck in one place. If you lose your job, your neighbors suck, or have to move for any reason being a homeowner makes that very complicated. If you are renting you can just wait until your lease ends and pack your things.
Home Owner’s Associations
Florida is known as the Home Owner’s Association (HOA) Capital of the world. With this typically comes a monthly or yearly fee. If that’s not bad enough… A lot of Condo’s have something called Assessments. Assessments are basically reparations that are needed to update the Condominium as it ages. Community-based HOA’s can also have Assessments. These can also come after a hurricane. If insurance doesn’t cover all of the hurricane repairs you may be on the hook for an assessment to finish the repairs.
As a renter, you don’t have to worry about Home Owners Association fees or assessments! These would all be your landlord’s problem.
Bills included with your rent
If you are renting you may get Cable, Internet or possibly electricity included with your rent. If you own the home, you will have to cover all of those expenses and more.
If you are renting and the home goes down in value, you don’t lose out. However, one of the biggest advantages of owning a home can be Appreciation. Historically speaking homes typically go up in value and as a renter, this can push you farther away from being a homeowner.
As a renter, if the air conditioner goes out, appliances go out or black mold starts growing on the wall.. Call the landlord! If you own the home you will have to take care of these added expenses yourself.
As a renter, you don’t get very many tax breaks but as a home owner there are numerous tax breaks that you can take advantage of. These range from tax breaks on money used to pay interest on your home mortgage to yearly depreciation. These tax advantages can add up quickly.
A large benefit to buying a home would be never having to worry about moving again. If you purchase the home, you can live there as long as you like. Your kids don’t have to change schools, lose their friends etc. If you plan to live somewhere for a long time, purchasing instead of renting may be right for you.
If you are renting, typically you cannot modify the home. If you own your home, you can take down walls, build an in ground pool or do any kind of construction project you feel like.
Pets and Parties
If you are renting, your landlord gets to determine if that property allows pets. You may not be able to have a dog over 40 pounds etc. Another typically restriction would be parties. If you want to throw a giant party, your lease may have restrictions on loud parties or how many people you can have in the home at one time.
Consider Renting before moving
A really good way to mix the two would be to rent a home for a year and then buy a home later. The closer you can rent to the neighborhood you want to buy in the better. This will give you an idea of the neighborhood without buying a home in a neighborhood you don’t like.
Renting and buying in Florida are both good options. There are risks and rewards with each but there is no better state to call home than sunny Florida!
Typically the landlord will pay HOA fees, so this is definitely a pro for renting.
It is a good idea to rent in an area before buying to make sure you want to live there long term.
A renter can optionally purchase “renters insurance” but the landlord is the one stuck with the bill for “home owners insurance” and “flood insurance”