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Buying beats renting after 2.4 years in southern Florida

Many economists agree that we are slowly emerging from the recession that has plagued us for the last few years, and one of the strongest indicators of this is the improving real estate market. All across the country, buyers are feeling confident enough to invest in real estate again, and Florida is no exception. In fact, with our exceptional entertainment and picturesque beaches, Florida is a hotspot for residential activity for people looking to retire or recent grads looking to pursue a job.

One of the biggest questions that prospective residents might have is whether they should rent or buy. Of course, each option has advantages: rentals are short-term, allowing individuals to move if they are unhappy or if they find better options later on; buying allows residents to invest their money and possibly sell the property later on for a return. But whether or not the return is worth it depends on a number of factors.

Fortunately for prospective Southern Floridians, economists with Zillow, a real estate website, have crunched numbers and determined the time by which buyers are more likely to come out ahead compared to renters: 2.4 years. The nationwide study considered many factors, including all possible costs of buying versus renting the same property, such as down payments, HOA fees, maintenance and more. This means that if you are certain that you will be in the same place for more than 2.5 years, your best bet is to buy a house instead of renting.

It is important to remember that there are many factors regarding your specific circumstances that could also affect your options, including how much you can afford for a down payment and the area in which you wish to live. Whether you are looking to buy or rent in Florida, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney about the real estate laws in Florida, and how they could affect your choice of buying or renting.

Source: Sun Sentinel, "In S. Florida, buying a home beats renting after about 2 years," Paul Owers, June 15, 2016

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