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Nick & Cindy Davis' Blog

By Nick & Cindy Davis | Agent in Tampa, FL

Cheaper to buy than rent for two-year stays


MIAMI – Aug. 2, 2012 – While Realtors continue to find fault with Zillow Inc.’s local home estimates, consumers made it the most visited real estate website in July 2012. As a result – right or wrong – Zillow influences buyer and seller behavior.

And a recent announcement from Zillow might lead more buyers to knock on real estate agency doors: According to the site, the average national homebuyer will save money over renting if he or she stays in a home for only three years. And in at least four Florida cities, a homeowner only needs to stay two years to make ownership the preferred option.

In Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, a homebuyer needs to stay less than one year and eight months to make ownership the best financial option; in Orlando, he or she needs to stay less than one year and nine months.

Zillow says it analyzed the “breakeven horizon” in more than 200 metros and 7,500 U.S. cities. All possible costs associated with buying and renting were incorporated into the analysis, including down payment, mortgage and rental payments, transaction costs, property taxes, utilities, maintenance costs, tax deductions and opportunity costs, while adjusting for inflation and forecasted home value and rental price appreciation.

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro ranked as Zillow’s most favorable for buying. In the San Jose metro, where home values are among the highest in the nation, a buyer must commit to living in their home for 8.3 years before they can expect to break even.

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

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