Renting vs. Buying a Retirement Home in St. Petersburg, FL
When you approach retirement, you are probably considering what you want to do with your finances. Living in St. Petersburg Florida is a beautiful way to spend retirement, but deciding whether to buy or rent can be a big decision, especially if you have been renting or buying before and are considering the opposite choice now that you won’t be working or working as much. Here are some of the biggest factors that should be in consideration when deciding about renting or buying in St. Petersburg, Florida for your retirement living.
Factors in Renting versus Buying
While much of the discussion of housing in the United States set up buying a home as a milestone and thus a bit superior to renting, this can only be true under particular conditions. When the market is highly competitive, you want maintenance-free living, or you are anticipating another move soon, buying can be more expensive and more of a hassle – it just depends. Here are some ways to think through the factors that should influence this decision.
Current Housing Market
2020, 2021, and much of 2022 were marked by runaway seller’s markets in many areas of the United States, including Florida. This means that, if you’re buying a home at a peak time, you might encounter artificially high prices or need to bid higher than the home’s value just to get an offer accepted. Seasons like this often come with higher rent prices too, but when rents come down, you can get a better deal, while a 30-year mortgage on a retirement home will not come down until you’ve paid it off. Sometimes, locking in a good deal on a home is the best choice, and other times, waiting out an expensive season by renting is wiser.
Personal Preference for Maintenance
While buying new or new-ish construction is often “low maintenance” living, many people prefer retirement homes to come with someone whose specific job is to keep the property in good shape. Renting can deliver this situation and can help you take one thing off your to-do list. However, if you love DIY projects, would love to add to a currently existing home or make it nicer, or simply don’t mind having some housework, buying your own property and taking pride in its maintenance may be the right way to go.
Expected Stay in the Area
If you know that life and retirement may move you somewhere else in the next 5 years, it is often wise to rent for a year or two to verify whether that move is likely to happen. Especially when prices are high already, buying for a short stay may not be worthwhile financially, since closing costs and such aren’t always recouped if you sell quickly. It takes time to build equity, so don’t be afraid to rent if you aren’t quite sure where you’ll be in the next few years. On the other hand, if demand is still high in a few years, you may be able to sell a home quickly even after only a few years in the house – just make sure you factor in the potential financial loss of a short time owning a home.