Market Conditions in 33624>Question Details

Daniel J., Home Buyer in New York, NY

Buy vs. Rent in Tampa, Florida

Asked by Daniel J., New York, NY Sat Mar 1, 2008

My wife and I are relocating to Tampa from the northeast, but we are guaranteed to stay for 3 yrs, however after 3 yrs we may have to relocate again due to my job, is it worth to consider buying in a down market where we can have seller's pay closing costs and have big markdowns from asking price if we don't know if we're going to stay long term? ( Area Tampa 33624 or 33625 carollwood, citrus park, FL)
Thank you I have been experiencing mixed opinions.

Help the community by answering this question:


To Hi Just looking in Virginia, the problem is nobody know who is going to be right. In my 30 years of buying and selling real estate, it is impossible to know when a recovery is going to come, and when the highs and lows are close. In 1998 I bought a home, which was a period when most economists and the media were reporting that it was a terrible time to buy. It ended up being a great time to buy as the housing market went up suddenly. I tend to get nervous when the media and economists are saying things are fantastic as they were in 2005, or when everything is horrendous as they now say.

You say there is going to be another 20% decline on average (I would love to know what crystal ball you are using), I for one do not know whether we are close to the bottom, at bottom or far from the bottom, and I do not believe anyone else knows. Oh there will be someone correct this time in their prediction, but they may have been wrong twenty times. Just watch the money shows and one says this stock is the best to buy, the next hates it. Same with the housing market.

I do think your 20% figure could be correct in a way, and that is that 80% to 90% of the homes in this market are overpriced. Those would have to be reduced with many requiring a 20% reduction or more to sell. However, there are many homes that are selling in this market, and I doubt there will be any need to reduce the price another 20%. I always search for the best buys for my clients and just last week we had 12 homes to go see. When my clients arrived in town, there were only four that were not under contract. Well priced homes sell in any market.

Quite simply every market has its true market value, and homes at that days market value will sell, and actually sell quickly.

Again, you could be correct, or not. We will have to wait up to three years to find out. Personally, I doubt the homes that are truly priced to market today, will not see any great price reductions, but those that are overpriced which is the majority, will have to come down, or they may have to wait a long time for the prices to get back to the prices they are asking for.

The other thing nobody mentions is mortgage rates. That is another thing where there are lots of predictions on where the rates will be in the future. If the majority is correct and inflation is our big fear, and with rates now historically very low, a 10% price reduction savings can be wiped out if mortgage rates rise just 1% which is not unheard of.

Remember for the last three recessions we have had, economists and the media have predicted they would occur fourteen times, so they were only correct 21% of the time.

So going back to Daniel's original question of should he buy with a guarantee of only being here for three years, it is a tough question to answer.If he had 5 - 10 years the answer would be easier. If he were asking for an area such as Detroit the answer would also be easier. But in an area such as Tampa, where the influx of people is expected to grow at a slower pace, but still growing, the answer is not as easy. Especially with most recovery's taking a V shape where when they finally hit bottom, they spike back up. Will this happen this time? Only time will tell. Does anybody know when we have hit the low? I do not believe so.

Most make great profits in real estate, and the number of years where people lose money is relatively small, however as in all investments if you bought at the high point then it really hurts those people as we see today.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
Hello Daniel,

How is my opinon biased? I told you to rent and see what the market does. An apology would be nice,
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 2, 2008
Hi Daniel J. - I think that the agents have given you some sound insight and advice. I have a different perspective. Yes, I personally would consider buying now, from a very motivated Seller at a below current market price. I would not wait a year and then try to buy because with only 2 years left, I don't think there is enough time for market appreciation to recoup your selling expenses.
However, I would also buy a cheaper house not a high end house. So if the market doesn't rebound in the next three years, you can't get hurt too bad. if you end up staying after 3 years you can always sell that house & trade up to a higher price range or a different neighborhood.
I would consider all financial factors including tax benefits. It sounds like you are doing so (e.g. asking Seller to pay closing costs). I say go for it but not extravagantly. I do think it is good that you are getting multiple perspectives. In the end, it comes down to your risk tolerance and other factors e.g. I personally don't like renting long term. Best of luck to you.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 1, 2008
Hello Daniel,

I would rent for the first year and see how things go with your job situation. If you were to stay longer than 3 years my advice would be to purchase a home.

It will probably take a couple of years before we see home sales increase again. If you rent for the first year, you can get a better feel for how the market is doing.
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 1, 2008
Rent Rent REnt! do not even hope that you will come out even in this market, no one can tell you right now that thios market will cvome back in 6 months or 6 years and when it does it surely will not grow fast enough in three years for you to make out well from it! At least with rental you can walk away and not leave a valuable asset behind with no idea when it might sell! This is from the mouth of a Fellow New Yorker!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 6, 2010
Daniel, I also appreciate your last post.

My last post may have come off as being harsh, however lately on Trulia there have been many people asking questions, we then answer, then the original person asking the question will give their own answer and then tell everyone they are wrong. Some have actually been nasty. Yours was very respectful, but did not seem to account for what many people had posted.

There are many real estate agents that always say buy. However, there are many of us that post here, spending much time to honestly with our opinion answer questions. Although Realtors often get bad press, the majority of Realtors truly want to help their clients meet their needs. If I tell people to buy when they should rent, or sell when they should stay put, these people will be very disatisfied with the service I give, and one disatisfied client can really hurt your business.

I have often told people after a full consultation I would recommend they do not sell or buy at this time. And for some the answer is different, and it really depends on their needs. Being honest with people, rather than worry about selling a home to someone who will not benefit is why 82% of my business is through referrals, and I often get referrals through people I have only consulted with and have never done business with.

I for one and I am sure many others in all the countless hours we spend posting answers here, have never received any business from answering the questions and certainly have received no money, but continue to answer as I do enjoy answering the questions.

Again I appreciate your post, and I'm sorry if my post was too harsh.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 2, 2008
I didn't mean to offend anyone and to the realtors that told me to rent I greatly appreciate your advice and time to write on this website. I apologize for offending you all. I am not going to pull back what I said because everyone has their opinion. I am just cautious about who is giving me advice because everyone has their own agenda. Again, I do appreciate the honest and open advice everyone has. This is a difficult time for our economy and making major moves is always risky. But without risks are no rewards so it boils down to how much risk I can swallow and I am not ashamed to admit that at this point in my life I am not ready to take a risk when no one knows when the Florida housing market will reach its bottom.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 2, 2008
Daniel, it sounds like you had your answer even before you asked your question, and were looking to put Realtors in their place. You say we are all biased Realtors, however many said rent, or be careful, or nobody knows what the market will be like in three years. I was in the medical field for 18 years and also know how to think. I still do as a Realtor, and I think that you were so ready to tell Realtors how wrong they were that you forgot to read what the Realtors actually said. As far as three years not being enough time, you may or may not be right.

And Daniel, you say we are biased because we sell homes, however I can make my living if you buy a home or rent a home, so it really does not matter which you do, and when I work with a client, I try to be honest with them, after all if I tell someone it may be a better idea to rent now, they will likely use me when they are ready to purchase in the future.

In Westport, CT in 1998 the media and economists were telling us it was a terrible time to buy. Within six months of buying the market had turned around and the values increased incredibly until 2006. We bought because the time was right for us. Only you can decide if the time is right for you or not. I have stopped trying to predict the market and find often that when the media is reporting values will just grow and grow as they did in 2005 it is time to worry, and when they are reporting all doom and gloom as they are now, I start to think the bottom may be close. As I said in my posting below, when we buy we always take a chance of getting nice gains, but at the same time take the risk of losses.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 2, 2008
Hello this is Daniel again. You guys are real estate agents and its your objective to sell houses and you are biased. I am a physician and know how to think and can tell you that 3 yrs is not enough time. I thought about it and when I sell in 3 yrs I will probably have to pay closing costs, real estate fees and worry about renting it out if I cannot sell it quickly. That is too much of a headache for someone who needs to worry about being a doctor first and business man second. I appreciate everyone's opinion but its too risky to buy not for today but for predicting the market in 3 years time.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 2, 2008
These are always tough questions to answer and nobody knows what the market will bring within that timeframe. My guess is that we will be better off than today, but I'm sure just as many will say that the market will still have not recovered.

In thirty-years of buying and selling properties, I have found that when people try to predict the market they do not do well. They don't want to buy when the market is getting too high, fearing it will crash and either end up missing all of the gains or finally decide to buy just as the frenzy is wild and then the market declines. Others wait for the market lows and miss those and buy too high or not at all.

I have always bought when the time is right for me. Has the timing been wrong? Once and it hurt when I sold and lost money, but by not trying to time the market I have made a lot of money through real estate. In 1998 we bought just before the market recovered. If I listened to the media and economists we would not have bought at that time, and would have missed all or most of the gains we got.

Only you can decide what is right for you, and are you willing to take the chance of nice gains with the possibility of losses.

Good luck in whatever you decide.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 1, 2008
We live in one of the safest and great neighborhoods. Golf, Trail parks, great schools, restaurants, close to beach, Veterans express way, which will take you every where. The neighborhood is called Country Way or Westshase. We are living for 3 to 6 months and would not mind renting month by month until you find what you desire. The house has a pool, conservation lot ( no back neighboors), same neighbors since I move here 10 years ago. It is a two story with approx. 2600 sqf, 4 bedrooms, 3 full bath, high cathedral ceilings, garage has been converted in a wonderful t..v room of office.
If you are interested and would like to stay month by month until you find what you like, please e-mail me at
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 25, 2009
If you do your homework and buy smart, buying is still the best route to go. Even on a short term basis, a smart buy could save you money in the long run.
Good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 14, 2008
I have 2 homes for sale / rent in the Tampa area. Maybe we could come to some sort of agreement that would work for us both... I'd be willing to rent for 3 years , aportion a market price to the home now then in 3 years split the profit with you... If you are interested drop me a
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 28, 2008
at least trulia works on your new vista machine
and you shouldn't have dropped out of Harvard
we'll forgive bill for it

nobody knows about the future
you are correct
but we can talk about here and now
you don't need a crystal ball
lets say, FL housing prices increased over 100%
avg joe's salary didn't
now its time for the correction
20% is a very conservative estimate
i think for FL the decreases will be much more

realtors shouldn't be too concerned
when things adjust there will buyers/sellers again

you'll just have to drop the
"houses never go down in value" thing

at least i didn't get the thumbs down on my last post


good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
You have a great opportunity ahead of you. The Tampa prices are very low and may be a terrific time to BUY RIGHT. Start building equity and sell when you are ready to leave. Even if you break even when you sell, it would be like renting it for that time period, you have the tax benefits AND, you have something to bargain with. JUST be careful in your purchase. South Tampa is a great area to explore. Good luck and all the best! Jim Soda - 941-809-7758 Prudential Palms Realty; Sarasota FL.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
Dear Hi again in VA,
LOL! Love your answers - even tho most are incorrect. Bill Gates got his start by dropping out of College, and getting a buddy to help him invent Windows OS in his parents garage. That is risky, for sure - and to go up against APPLE?? EVEN riskier.

Warren Buffet didn't pick the cheap and safe, he picked the sure bets, lived beneath his means and didn't give his money away.

and btw - If you look at my original answer, I did not ask Daniel to call me either, although many others DID and I consider that as a form of spam on this forum, so not sure where that came from.

As for my windows software, I got a new pc and it came with VISTA. Right now I'd love to choke BG, but am going to work thru this and buy a MAC the next time. Even the tech support people don't know how to help you when you have a problem, and if I upgraded the 15 programs that don't work with VISTA, it would cost me a mere $3500. That does not include my all-in-One printer, copier, fax and scanner which is not VISTA compliant, so don't get me on a roll with that issue ;-)

This was a fun diatribe though, thanks for your answers from the other side of the fence, even if you didn't answer all of my questions ;-) it was nice of you to respond, since most don't, and we always wonder if we helped, made a difference or did someone just die, lol!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
on the profound (lol for sure)

"I'll bet Warren Buffet or Bill Gates didn't get where they are today by playing it safe, or cheap. "

I'm not a gambling woman but i bet you are wrong
Warren Buffets middle name should be cheap or safe
he lives in an "avg joe" house in Omaha, NE (for about the past 30 years)
he drives an "avg joe" car (i think its a chrysler)
he got where he is by being safe and cheap
he bought safe and cheap stocks
if you bought the berkshire hathaway stock 20 years ago for about $1000
its worth about $110,000 today
Bill Gates
do you want your windows software to be risky and expensive?

remember the 2000 tech bubble?
if you bought YAHOO stock for $250 per share
that would be risky and expensive
by 2001 YAHOO stock was $25 per share
that would be safe and cheap
and Warren bought a bunch.
housing bubble is the same way

my advice is simple

if you are buying
wait, rent for now
don't join the 8.3 million people in the "underwater" adventure this year
yes, buy when the prices have corrected (probably another 20% avg decline)

if you are selling
its not a good time to sell the house

if that gets me thumbs down
i'm ok with that

are you selling your house?
why not?

are you buying a house?
why not?

put yourself in Dan's shoes for a second

I've given him a good answer

and I didn't tell him to call me


good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
btw - I forgot to add a 'profound statement' (lol!)

I'll bet Warren Buffet or Bill Gates didn't get where they are today by playing it safe, or cheap.

Sometimes it is better to take a chance. It all depends on how conservative you are... but in most cases the very wealthy or (at least ) financially sound people never played it cheap, OR safe.


Profound words of wisdom from the "unsafe and not cheap realm ;-) "

You can have safe and conservative, or you can be a mover and a shaker, but you can't have both. Maybe Trulia should insist on more info, then we could all give better advice but until then, miles to go before anyone sleeps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008
rofl, not a personal attack, just an opinion. You wondered why you got 2 thumbs down, and I just responded. Regarding your thoughts on renting vs buying and getting out easy though, I have a curiousity question ;-) if you don't mind sharing your thoughts (or anyone else, feel free to chime in as well).

Lets say you rent for $2K/month and live there one year, that is $2400 bucks.
Now lets say you BUY for $2K/mo, get the tax write off with mtg interest, homestead and SOH and you sell, even at a tad bit of a loss a year or so later...

Has anyone ever really crunced these numbers to see if they'd be better off renting vs buying? The upside is, the market may improve (hey nobody really knows, right?) and with interest rates so low, and foreclosures and short sales rampant, it may make better financial sense to buy, hold for 3 yrs, then sell...

Then again, it depends on your tax situation, which nobody ever shares.

Anyway, just a thought from the other side of the fence. I've been telling more people lately to hang in there and not move than to move forward, but as I said, it depends on each persons unique situation. One size does not fit all.

;-) Paula Bean
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008
yes paula
point well taken
but the truth is
renting is safer and cheaper
the FL market is in free fall
nobody knows where the bottom is
you can always get out of a lease with minimal financial damage
you can't always get out of a house
i read somewhere the banks do not want
to loan money for any condos in FL
there was too much speculation
and Dan says he's not sure about staying long term
it seems the realtors take this as a personal attack
its not
its just the way the market is right now


good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008
To Daniel:
So what did you end up doing? Inquiring minds want to know ;-)

To Hi just looking from VA:
yeah, 2 more thumbs down because you are giving biased advice. Sometimes it's best to rent, sometimes to buy, but you just gave an 'off the cuff' answer without knowing more details. Without regard to most of the agents advice who said 'rent first' I also have to mention another post made by Daniel, who defended himself as a Physcian who "could think".

Does that mean that real estate agents don't think, or don't care?
Have you ever seen a patient with no insurance and no money and still didn't care, Did an exam and ordered tests anyway? I'll bet not. Additionally, I'll bet anyone else who has a job would not go in to work when there is no guarantee of being paid, yet REALTORS do it EVERY DAY.

People may think agents are a bunch of 'uncaring people who just want to sell you something' but in my 30 yrs of experience I have to say that - yes, we all have our bad apples, but for the most part, I think we all really DO care, and we get our business from satisfied people, AND we do a lot of FREE work. So what's up with the bad reputation? Would YOU work for FREE like we do 80% of the time? My guess in NO. Still, we all try to help, just like giving advice on this forum makes us no money, it is all about trying to help.

NOW that we all understand where each other is coming from, WHY don't we try to act professional, give and get good advice, and play nice? Otherwise, there is a lot of other things we can all do with our time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008
2 more thumbs down for me ?


good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008

This is a great time to buy but you do have to take into consideration that in three years you would not have paid much on the principle or gained much value in your home unless you got a very good deal. You may want to look at a Lease with an option to buy in 12 or 24 month. The option to buy will hold the purchase price at the current market price (todays price). If the market takes an up turn and the property appreciates 10% to 15% during the lease term you know you have a great deal but if the market continues to move in a downward trend you have the option to walk away. The seller may even grant you a percentage of the monthly lease towards your downpayment but keeps that if you don't take the option to buy. There are many lease with options to buy home in the Tampa Bay area right now. I wish you great success in your move to Tampa and hope you enjoy your stay. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008
Hello Daniel,
Realtors thinks too......tangle with laws, offers, market trends, needs and desperate cases.
Realtors, do math, financials, laws and sometimes miracles to get their clients dream.
Realtors as a Doctor are "mostly" higly specialized and don't ask a butcher if the roof will rotten.......
No armas or offense, just a placid conversation as Trulia is meant to be, Foreclosure are everywhere and with an incredible new construction high inventory, a competitive market has been created, job laid-off is probably the biggest cause, rather than Tampa or Florida depreciating........
I'm personally confident that with the elections, low interest rate and the 1st (tax) amendement, 2009 superbowl and all Tampa has to offer, we'll be on the raise by June.
Mostly people is scared off by the economy, in fact 90% of the buying is made by Investors who bargain thanks to CA$H deals.
It's not a Realtor duty to "sell" sell, sell....... rather study the feasibility, according to the client needs and possibilities, properties are already on the raise... check it out, and some areas in Tampa still appreciate 3-5% a year...... only a mule would leave a Doctor throwing money down the drain by renting, I guess, an upscale house, did you verify rental rates?
Did you calculate taxes benefits? Depreciation........ and the benefits, saying: it's my House!
Once again I feel we're getting back on track, you'll watch and I'll be glad to share a glass of wine and see who did the right prediction.
You can tell when a market hits the bottom in 2 cases, either it's too late because prices are "ALREADY" rising or you have the christal ball.
In all the other cases a wise and knowledgeable person will analyze the trends, hystoric data, curbs and like Doctors preventing before cure it.
I'll look forward to continue this conversation few months from now, if you so like, and bet you a bottle of wine :)
best regards, Antonio
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 28, 2008
no risk
and you can probably find a very nice rental for 1/2 the price of owning


good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 28, 2008
Hi Daniel,
Congratulations on your move to Tampa! I hope your move works out to be a profitable one. Job relocation moves can be tough since you are at the mercy of current market conditions in both areas. You may find you love Tampa so much, you might decide to pass on your next relocation offer.
I’m sending you a link to a rent vs. buy calculator at that you may find helpful in making you decision.

If you decide you would like to buy, need help finding a rental, or have any questions about the area, feel free to give me a call at 813-230-5804. I have lived in zip code 33624 for the last 20 years (I’m also a northeast transplant!). Best of luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 28, 2008
Where in Tampa are you relocating. I have a move in ready furnished 2/2 bath. I am open to the idea of rent to own. Let me know
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 13, 2008
It all depends on your risk tolerance. You may lose if the market doesn't recover in the next 3 years but if it does, and the analysts with Forbes are correct about Tampa Bay being the #1 place to buy, you could stand to make a substantial gain (and tax fee, too) on your house if you were to sell in 3 years from now. Also the Florida state legislators are trying to push through a significant property tax saving and if the Feds do something fast to stop the foreclosure debacle, it could be a fast turnaround and we may reach the bottom of the market and shoot upwards rapidly, in a "V" shaped price recovery. Alternatively, you could lose your life savings, break even or lose a little. You'll get a tax deduction for paying mortgage interest. If you decide to rent you have to be careful, too. Make sure you rent from an apartment complex or if you rent from an individual owner make sure to do some due diligence in case you end up with the Sheriff at your door and you have to vacate. Good luck getting your deposit back in that scenario, too. Life's a gamble. Take no risk, live no life!
PS You can search the Realtor MLS for rentals and properties on my site, and you don't have to sign a guest book or anything.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
Go Jeff...........
it really seems that people thinks of Realtors like cars salesman!!!
We analyze and work hard for our customers, as I expect Daniel to live on referralls, but for some reason people don't really appreciate the effort and diligence this Job require!
A last note....... Daniel, you can buy properties "bank owned" 70 cents on the dollar or less..... as you said you might be too busy with your profession and not be as much of a Business man, therefore let the PRO'S do it for you, eventually with a face to face evaluation.
best of luck.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 2, 2008

I appreciate your post.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 2, 2008
a move from another state it's no joke, but if you also add throwing money down the drain for rent, it's even crazier :)
Tampa it's not exactly what used to be and we experiencing substancial growth every single year no matter what!
Jobs are still available and you're coming for that...........the airport will be International soon, a shuttle will serve downtown empowering the strong presence Tampa already has a business city; Superbowl 2009 it's here, need to add more?
Altough a declining market hitted us, houses in the right "areas" are still appreciating 3 to 5.8% a year; predictions are for magicians, but I can defentely tell you my opinion..... whatch what will happen in june!!!
We're are almost at bottom, and now it's the time to buy, matter of fact I'm swamped with investors buying NOW!
A rent vs buy calculator will tell you that it's a good option buying, if you keep it about 5 yrs....... well now compare an average $1000 in rent x 36= 360000 if you buy right, you really think a house will depreciate 36k when everybody in the world can tell you that in 3 yrs, even FORBES, we'll be in good shape?!!?
be confident and don't waste your money, you'll soon find out how sweet is having a "saving" in equity down the road, if you choose the right Realtor in this HIGH inventory, foreclosed and R.E.O market.
Save yourself the DILEMMA and give me a call: 813-785-7529.
I'll paste Rent vs Buy calculator here and a 'reference' link to search foreclosed properties, you can refine it by zip or whatever your requirements are:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 1, 2008
Hey Daniel!

Click the link below to use a rent vs buy calculator to determine if buying a new home in Tampa is right for you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 1, 2008
Hi Dan,

I Aree with Phil, rent for a year and see where life takes you. By then you will know where you want to buy if you don' t get relo'd. If you DO get relo'd, you wont have to worry about selling a house in a buyers market.
I know some great propertry nabgers I can refer you to, if interestedd send me an email.

Best wishesm ''
Paula Bean
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 1, 2008
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