South Florida Real Estate
Archive for the 'Renting in Miami' Category
This question has been asked forever and most answers are it depends on how long you plan on living in a home and what your lifestyle is like. If you plan on living in a home for more than 3 years – 5 years, experts say that it is probably more economical to buy. Given the recent decline of property values, especially for those purchased during the most recent boom, I was surprised to see that the Costco January Debate: Is renting a home better than buying? resulted in only 26% of respondents saying it is better to rent. 74% believed buying was better.
With rental rates in Miami on a steep incline over the last two years, I would have to agree. Especially if you are planning on making Miami your home for a while.
During a Sunday get together, the rent vs buy question came up and a lively discussion ensued. The individuals who were pro-renting argued that renting provided:
- cash flow/opportunity cost: not having money tied up in a mortgage, taxes, and insurance, allowed more money for investing, travelling, miscellaneous purchases
- flexibility: if they wanted to move into different neighborhood, change size , or relocate for a job, their choice is not dependent on first having to sell their home
- better lifestyle: they argued that they could rent a nicer place in a nicer area than they could afford to purchase
- maintenance-free living: don’t have to worry about repairs, yard work, pool cleaning
The pro-buyers argued that buying was better because:
- it builds equity: which helps build your net worth. It is basically a forced way of saving money.
- tax benefits: interest on a mortgage is currently tax deductible, thereby reducing taxes you owe
- gives you control over finances: you are not subjected to rental increases
- stability: since home ownership is fairly long term, owning a home creates a sense of security and community
- maintenance: don’t have to wait for landlord to change or repair something. Have control over quality of work of repairs and type of work done (i.e wood floors vs changing carpet)
Obviously both renting and buying have their pros and cons. The New York Times rent vs buy analysis says that overall, if you stay in a place for 5 years or more, you are better off financially buying. This analysis assumes that the landlord pays utilities, which for the most part in Miami-Dade is not the case. The tenant usually pays all utilities, except for those that are provided by, and included in, the condominium’s maintenance fee.
So what side of the fence are you on and why?
Rents are tight in most markets and, due to the numbers of foreclosures, short sales, and number of people who have lost their jobs or have had their work hours decreased, the trend is expected to continue at least for the short term. However, Jim Woodard predicts this is a temporary trend.
If you are a renter, you may want to consider the affordability index in the city you live and work in and calculate the cost of renting vs. buying. If you are a landlord, you may want to look at Money Magazine’s Best Cities to Be a Landlord list
With the increasing popularity of living in walkable communities, rents are on the rise in areas such as downtown Brickell and Coral Gables. The fact that there are so many new buildings with great amenities and upgraded finishes, such as granite counter tops and modern kitchens and baths, in these two areas have lead to an increase in demand and rents. An unfurnished 2 bedroom 2 bath condo in a newer building starts at $2000.
According to Trulia’s Q1 Rent vs Buy Index, Miami is #1 on the Top Ten Cities To Buy vs Rent table. The reason I titled my post “ It May Be Cheaper To Buy Than To Rent” instead of “It Is Cheaper To Buy Than To Rent” is because Trulia arrived at their conclusion by comparing two-bedroom apartments, condominiums and townhomes, currently listed on their website. If you want to find out if you are better off buying or renting, use their rent calculator and fill it in with your own rental costs and home specifications.
Obviously is more to consider than simply the cost when you decide whether to rent or own, but knowing your costs is probably one of the largest factors.
I have had several customers moving to Miami wonder where all the cheap rentals they are reading/hearing about are? There are still plenty of rentals in the downtown Miami area, but that is a generalization. Most renters are looking for a specific type of building, location, price range etc., all of which are limiting factors. One of my clients wanted a 3 bedroom 2 bath and her specifications meant there were only two available rentals.
Here is what is available in the MLS if you are looking in the Brickell/Coconut Grove area for unfurnished condos built since 1990:
- There are 24 three bedroom two (or more) bath units ranging in price from $2,500 up to $8,000
- There are 47 two bedroom two (or more) bath units ranging in price from $1,650 up to $7,500
- There are 67 one bedrooms for rent ranging in price from $1,300 – $5,500
You would be surprised by how much your specifications will either shrink or increase the availability of rentals in the Miami area.
- Laurenzo’s Italian Center – Whether you are a gourmet cook and want amazing Italian ingredients or want something already prepared, you will enjoying cruising up and down the isles of this well-known local gourmet supermarket.
- Founders Park – Located on a 12-acres site, this park has something for everyone. Tennis, ball fields, exercise trails, picnic shelters and a splash park for the kids (residents get into splash park free with id, non-residents pay $10).
- Size/Value of condos. If you are renting or selling, you can usually find a larger condo in Aventura than you could in Brickell or Miami Beach, and usually for less. Search for yourself.
- Location: Close to Ft. Lauderdale, Miami,(and their respective airports and ports) and just a jump to the beach
- Don Soffer exercise trail- this 3 mile loop is perfect for running, walking the pets, or taking an evening stroll
- The Farimont Turnberry Golf and Country Club – in addition to having a world class spa and golf course, the restaurants are also amazing.
- William’s Island – this enclave of homes, condos, and town homes, all surrounded by water, includes its own private club and is a relaxing jewel of a community, close to everything in Aventura, including a Fresh Market.
- Proximity to Gulfstream Park – What a great way to spend the day. If watching the horse races isn’t your thing, at least stop by and watch the beautiful animals parade around the courtyard prior to each race, then take off and go eat, shop or dance, at one of the many venues.
- Mo’s Bagel and Diner – My Dad is a New Yorker who hasn’t lived there since he was born, but it’s in his blood, and Mo’s makes him feel like he is back there.
If I were a shopper, I would add the Aventura Mall. I personally can’t stand shopping, but this mall is amazing. It is large, clean and has such a variety of stores. If you can’t find what you are looking for here, you probably don’t need it.
This low-rise garden condominium is located on the Coral Gables Waterway. It is ideally situated between Coconut Grove, South Miami, and downtown Coral Gables, making it popular with young professionals, students and retirees alike. The units are spacious and feature ample closet space. Rentals range from $900-$1100 for one bedrooms and $1500-$1800 for two bedrooms. One bedrooms list for sale in the mid to high $100,000 and the two bedrooms are in the $200,000. Low maintenance fees and a stable association are additional benefits.
The 2010 real estate market has started out all over the place, both nationally and locally. On a national level, the lousy weather has had a negative effect on the new home segment, with construction on new homes and apartments falling 4% overall in December (construction rose in the South by over 3%). Applications for new building permits, however, increased by 11%.
Locally, the market has been moving a lot, keeping buyers, sellers, renters, and Realtors, on their toes. There are constant price adjustments on properties already listed, both upward and downward; properties priced well are going under contract (last week the EWM office in Coral Gables that I work out of had $21,000,000 worth of transactions) and renters are snapping up deals as downward pressure on rents, especially in condos, has given tenants more negotiating room.