Choosing the place that will be your next, or your forever, home is arguably one of life’s biggest decisions. Properties are much more than walls and windows, they come with exciting potential, emotional ties and serve as the setting for making memories. So, it should go without saying that choosing the right place to call home is an important one. For many people, that choice involves more than simply where your next home will be, but also how you approach the move. While buying and renting each have benefits and drawbacks, there is no shortage of opinions on which is best. And in an area like Miami, with its diverse neighborhoods and ever-changing real estate landscape, considering the various factors that influence your financial picture, wants and needs, home values and big market picture are all vital to your success.
When you are contemplating purchasing a home, the best thing to do is break it down to the basics. According to financial guru, Dave Ramsey, it comes down to this, “Are you financially ready to buy a home?” To determine that answer, ask yourself a few questions:
- “Are you out of debt?”
- “Do you have emergency savings that can cover three to six months of expenses?”
- “Do you have enough cash for a 10-20% down payment?”
- “Will your mortgage be 25% or less than your take-home income?”
- “Do you plan to stay in the same location for at least three years?”
Answering yes to these questions may mean you are ready to take the plunge and purchase a home. Owning a home has distinct advantages too… you are building wealth and investing in your future, home ownership comes with tax benefits, you have the freedom to paint, renovate and make your space your own and owning comes with the added benefit of knowing that the property is yours… all great benefits of owning vs. renting. However, there are advantages to renting as well. For anyone whose job requires relocation, for those working on paying off debt or for anyone who just isn’t quite ready to undertake the commitment of buying a home, renting is a valuable option… and you have a built-in maintenance plan that is the landlord’s responsibility rather than yours.
Understanding the Market
In Miami, some neighborhoods offer much better value than other for either buyers or renters. While in most cases, buying was a better financial option than renting according to the South Florida Business Journal, there are 19 neighborhoods where renting is the better option. While online resources are plenty, a professional Realtor® will always be the best resource when considering your options, understanding the market and finding the best properties to help you make the best, and most informed decision possible.
Location, location, location… While it may not be everything for renters, location plays a big part when deciding on a property to call home. Cost, amenities and ease of transportation are just a few more considerations that go into finding the perfect rental property.
Thinking about moving can be daunting. And in a crowded rental market, even more challenges arise. A good place to start is by first setting a realistic budget and creating a wish list for your next home. It should go without saying that your budget is important. While renting provides some benefits – your landlord or property management company handling the cost of repairs for one – it is important to take a thorough and practical look at your finances. As a rule, rent should cost around a third of your monthly income leaving room for other bills, groceries, transportation costs, renters insurance and more. For those who would like a little help figuring out their budget, there are many tools and calculators online while websites like Mint.com help you sync and organize everything in one, user-friendly and easy to understand place.
So, you have your budget, now the fun begins! Making a wish list is part of the excitement of finding a new place to live and can include everything from ‘short commute to work’ to property features such as granite countertops or wood floors to a building with a pool that rivals the world’s best resorts. Start by putting your non-negotiables at the top… number of bathrooms, parking spaces, must-have washer and dryer… then move on to the things that you would like to have but could work around for the right place. You will end up with a prioritized list that will help you when you start looking at potential properties.
Once you have narrowed down your search, you will want to learn everything you can about the property. Ask questions like “who is responsible for repairs?” and be sure to find out everything that is covered in the lease so you are not surprised by extra fees that could strain your budget. Do you have pets? Make sure your furry family member is also covered by the lease and plan for related expenses. Understand your lease terms completely. What happens if you have to break the lease? Life is full of surprises so read the fine print and ask questions before you sign anything.
Whether you are searching for a temporary relocation or a place to call home for the foreseeable future, a little planning will help you find success in your search!
So, you are ready to buy your first income-producing investment property… Congratulations! But before you buy that property, there are several things to consider before signing any deal. Understanding how to become a successful landlord are tantamount to success. With some research and planning, new and seasoned landlords alike can find their sweet spot in today’s market and reap the rewards of savvy real estate investing.
You have made the decision to invest in a property to rent and maybe even have your eye on another property so what’s next? First and foremost, you must understand what the demand is for rental properties in your area. If demand is low, finding a tenant or setting a price that optimizes your investment may be challenging. As the market changes rapidly, staying on top of trends is imperative. In addition to understanding market demand, there are legal considerations. From tax codes to inspections, federal, state and local laws are there to protect the tenant AND the landlord. Familiarizing yourself with the Minimum Housing Standards and using professional consultants will ensure everything is done by the book.
Costs and Property Management
Investment properties are a great way to build wealth and make money, but these homes also come with costs. Insurance, taxes, association fees, maintenance and yes, even an occasional bad tenant are sources of additional costs that should be factored into your expected return on investment. While background checks, credit checks and references will help you to choose the best tenant, using a professional property management company will go a long way in protecting your investment. A good property management company will know everything necessary to successfully manage your property while keeping you apprised of anything and everything that you need to know about what is happening in your rental unit. Should you find success as a landlord and buy additional properties to rent, hiring a professional property management company is a must.
Preparing a Property to Rent
Just as home sellers should walk through their home to see it through the eyes of a potential buyer, so too should landlords look at their rental property from the renter’s point of view. If you were considering renting the home, what would you look for? Basic repairs, a thorough cleaning and ensuring everything is in good working order are the baseline essentials. Desirable features such as a washer and dryer, high-end appliances or modern fixtures and finishes will increase the appeal of your property, giving it an edge in the market.
Home prices in Miami-Dade keep rising, with no sign of leveling off. As indicated by the Miami Association of Realtors, the middle cost of single-family homes in Miami came to $360,000 in August — a 6.7 percent spike over a similar period a year ago and the 81st month of back to back development.
The shortage of homes in the $250,000-$350,000 price range, where most first-time home purchasers are looking, has turned into a blast for the rental market. In excess of 1.1 million individuals lease apartments in South Florida (counting Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach), as indicated by the backing bunch National Multifamily Housing Council, and the aggregate number of rental family units in the zone is anticipated to swell to 700,000 constantly 2030.
Developers keep on building in the urban passage, from downtown to Wynwood to Edgewater, and the first in a rush of smaller scale units — small units pitched at twenty to thirty year olds — is expected for consummation in mid 2019.
Read the Original Article Here: What questions do you have about renting in South Florida?
Choosing whether to rent or own a home is not an easy decision. It requires you to carefully examine the factors and costs associated with each option. Which is better? That depends.
Your unique economic situation, lifestyle and goals play the largest part in deciding what is better for you. It’s important to go into your calculations with open eyes. As much as you want a home, you may not be able to afford it. Or it may not be the right decision for the way you like to live.
Factors To Consider When Buying/Renting a Home
The following four points are the largest factors to consider when weighing the pros and cons of home ownership vs. rental.
1) What are the total costs?
Many people look at the economics of home-ownership as a mortgage payment only. In reality there are insurance, repairs, property tax, homeowners association dues etc. that all have to be factored in to your monthly costs. Check out this calculator from the New York Times to see more.
Use a calculator and compare to see if:
- The monthly cost as a homeowner is less than renting.
- You can afford the monthly cost (if it works out more than renting in your area)
- Saving a 10-20% down-payment is feasible for you.
If owning a home definitely the way to go for you, you need to be able to answer the above questions definitively.
2) What is important to you?
Are you more interested in building for the future, or reducing your financial risk until you can figure out a plan? You may want to own if you are thinking about starting a family. But as someone who is single, you may enjoy your freedom and having less financial debt. (Even if it is building your net worth in the long run)
Undoubtedly, buying a house only makes sense if you plan to set up roots. If you plan to move within (or every) 5 years, your transaction costs will likely bring the equity you build in your house to zero. Thus diminishing your upside while carrying all of the liabilities that come along with home ownership. Owning a home is a smart decision if you plan to stay for 10 years or more.
3) What is your preferred lifestyle?
Do you want to build a career in a specific city or travel around? Do you have long-term goals in mind? It’s okay if you don’t. The most important part is being aware of where you are at. You may want to get some international work experience or try your luck in another part of the country. Or not.
Really think about what you want. You could lose some serious money if you buy a house and sell within a few years because you decide it isn’t for you.
4) What are the opportunity costs?
Think about the pros and cons of home-ownership. On one hand, you will always have a home base. On the other, you have a property that ties you down to a geographical location. Can you make more money in another city? With a home, you can’t move to pursue those opportunities.
If rent is equal to monthly payments as an owner, think about the opportunity costs of having all of your money tied up in the house. For example, some investors may rent and opt to invest their money in the stock-market or other investments in their portfolio. Can you make higher percentage returns yearly with the money you would be using for a down payment?
Rent vs Buying
The above were things you will want to consider. If you need to be realistic to make the right decision about renting vs owning a home. The below two situations may help if you aren’t able to come to a conclusion.
When is Renting a Home Better?
Despite popular belief, owning a home is not always the best decision. Let’s not be black and white. It depends on your particular situation.
You may want to rent if:
- You want to travel and set-up shop in different places every few years.
- You do not have the job or financial security to (realistically) guarantee payments for years to come.
- You have demonstrated the ability to make better financial returns through other investments.
There are other factors. However, this is a good starting point to help you determine your argument for renting versus owning a home. The benefit of renting is not being tied down to a geographic location and being able to leave when your lease runs up.
When is Owning a Home Better?
Owning a home is the long-term game. You need to have your goals in mind and understand if you can afford it.
You may want own if:
- You are okay with staying in one place for 10 years or more.
- You have the financial stability to afford the home (and float payments if you lose your job)
- You want to leverage your home as an investment property down the line (through rental)
Owning a home gives you an anchor. It helps you stay grounded by having a home base. At the same time, you can increase your upward potential by leveraging the home as an investment property.
Choosing to rent or own your home is a big decision. It depends on your individual situation and vision for the future. In short, owning is traditionally the better long-term strategy. However, that’s not to say that you can’t do as good or better with the right investment portfolio.
Before jumping into anything, analyze yourself. Think hard about where you are and what you want for the future. Speak to a realtor and see if they have any advice for your individual situation.
If you are looking at purchasing property in the area, give me a call. I’d love to discuss your options and see if buying is the right path for you.
I believe that. In fact, I know that. Starting my start-up career at Zillow (see this for some perspective) was a very good and very bad pre-cursor for my entrepreneurial journey over the past few years.
It was great in the fact that I now KNOW building a technology business at massive scale is possible; I’ve seen it done from the inside. Most people seriously question whether building something that reaches millions of consumers is possible, because they haven’t seen it with their own eyes
It was bad in the fact that, prior to starting my own company
I thought start-ups were easy. As an employee at Zillow, sure there were challenges, but from my perspective there was never any real risk the company wouldn’t succeed. That’s why I took a personal loan when I left in 2010 to buy my options; I knew there was basically zero chance I’d end up on the short end of the stick (and I didn’t). Of course, Zillow’s not the average start-up. Most start-ups don’t have $6 million in funding pre-launch, a team of 50+ without having shipped a product, or a founder with a multi billion dollar company that transformed an entire industry under his belt.
They seek product feedback and strategy. They want to know about problems and incentives for agents as well as consumers. They are looking to get a handle at how to gain adoption, traction, and partnerships in this massively complex and wide-reaching industry we operate in.
Many have no prior history in the industry. Others were agents at one time or another. Still others grew up in a real estate family.
I’ve seen 10 years of what has worked, and what hasn’t. When I hear a pitch or play with a product, I tell it how I see it, regardless of whether that’s what the founder wants to hear. Sometimes, it doesn’t validate their strategy.