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Old 05-08-2010, 05:54 PM
5 posts, read 7,237 times
Reputation: 10


My SO and I are going to move to Tampa in August and are currently debating whether to rent or buy. I've read the previous threads on this subject, but am hoping for advice from locals that are more specific to the parameters I am looking for.

Based on looking at rental prices and home prices (even after thinking about closing fees, property tax, inspection fees, and homeowner's insurance), I believe that for the same square footage, buying may be just as cost-effective as renting. I will be working at USF (Tampa) for at least the next 2 years (my SO is a software engineer and will be working remotely, with a stable income for at least the next three years), but want to leave myself some flexibility in case we wind up moving after that. In practice, this means I am concerned about whether we will be able to sell or rent out any home that we purchase if we DO wind up leaving (Not looking to make a profit, but preferring not to lose more than what we would have paid in rent, which looks to be $24,000 minimum).

In terms of what we're looking for - we are youngish (late 20s) and our housing requirements are simple: 2 bedrooms (at minimum), 1000 sq ft (minimum), pet friendly (we've got a single indoor-only spayed cat, which apparently a lot of rentals still frown upon or charge lots of extra for). We don't really like apartments, and would prefer to rent or buy a townhouse or a single family residence (we aren't crazy about nightlife, and love to hike/bike/swim, so proximity to that type of recreation is important). The caveat is that I suppose we are fairly cheap -- if renting, we don't want to pay more than $1000/month. If buying, we don't want to tie up all our cash in a house (b/c of the risk of moving), and would prefer not to spend more than $100,000. We both have excellent credit and savings and could comfortably put down about $50,000 as a down payment -- however, in practice, we'd probably be happier putting down no more than $10,000-20,000.

From searching on realtor.com, it seems that there are homes that meet this specification, but I've read articles on the forum about drywall issues and foreclosure rates in neighborhoods. Do people have opinions about specific neighborhoods and about this renting/buying issue? We thought Westchase and Citrus Park looked awesome (but probably out of our desired price range). Wesley Chapel had lots of space but also apparently high foreclosure rates (which seemed risky for buying, though likely wouldn't matter if we decided to rent). Carrollwood also looked promising, but we were uncertain about people's thoughts on areas like Zephyrhills and Temple Terrace.

Any thoughts...? Are we being way too impractical? (Sorry for the lengthy post... just trying to help give folks a sense of our situation in case it would be helpful for recommendations).
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:54 AM
26,796 posts, read 41,502,416 times
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I can't comment on Citrus Park...but I can comment on Wesley Chapel. Seven Oaks had a few foreclosures but hardly any property is for sale or empty. When a rental or home comes on the market, they sell pretty fast over there and I always rent it out within 5 days in Seven Oaks. There are communities in Wesley Chapel like Bridgewater that are very hard hit and that is showing up in the stats for Wesley Chapel...IMO that counts for many areas...locally it can be very different which community is hit hard and some are not...
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:32 PM
Location: Tampa, FL
74 posts, read 351,174 times
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I'd recommend you rent right now - house prices still showing no signs of going up, so no pressure to buy like there was a few years ago - and should you need to leave, with renting you can just go.

Working at USF, you've got plenty of options as to where to live - If it was me, I'd probably prefer New Tampa (Bruce B Downs area and up - but beware you may have hellish traffic depending on your schedule), or possibly a bit further down towards Brandon. I'm not overly fond of the area right around USF - bit too urban as opposed to suburban and has been there a while, and run down in places.
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:31 PM
Location: Tampa, FL
3 posts, read 6,229 times
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You should check into Temple Terrace. There are several subdivisions with Townhomes, such as Rain Tree. Temple Terrace has its own Country Club and Family Recreation Center, complete with full fitness center, 3 full size gyms, dance studios tennis, volleyball courts, raquet ball courts, pools, etc. for Temple Terrace residents. Go to templeterrace.com for more information. I have lived here since 79 and feel quite safe and comfortable here.
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:00 AM
16 posts, read 59,542 times
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Default rent or own

Hi there, I think it is a perfect time to buy. Yes, you know all the negatives about the current mess we are in. But, we also have to keep positive and keep everything going. Things will work out, they always do. Now, for the real estate part, I know a great little neighborhood that is affordable and has a direct commute to Tampa. I believe the location and proximity to major roadways, shopping and a brand new hospital set to open in Spring 2011 are all positive factors even if you had to leave in the future. Hope I can be of help to you.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:31 AM
35,319 posts, read 44,590,795 times
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Why not rent for the first year so you get the lay of the land so to speak,discover which communities fit your needs, get a feel for the various price ranges in different communities then buy a house when you are committed to staying because if you find that after a year Florida isnt what you thought it was going to be it will be a lot easier to walk away from a rental than go through all the trouble of trying to selling a house.
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