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Should You Rent or Buy for Retirement in Florida?

retirement buy or rent

Should I Buy or Rent at Retirement?

It’s no secret that Florida is a top destination for retirement. In fact, nearly 12% of all retirees who choose to move out of their current state, select the Sunshine State as their destination for enjoying those later years of life. It’s also no secret that retirement often comes with a fixed income or a conservative budget in order to comfortably afford a leisurely lifestyle for many years to come. So one of the largest ongoing expenses to consider during retirement is the property you will live in, the home or condo where you lay your head each night. Both owning and renting have pros and cons, depending on your budget and needs. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and potential hurdles of either purchasing a home or condo for retirement or choosing to simply lease a property.

Buying a Home for Retirement




Potential for Higher Expense
Ongoing Maintenance

One of the biggest factors in deciding between buying or renting at retirement is related to finances, whether it be the upfront costs for purchasing, or the variability of future expenses. For buying, there may be a large down payment needed. Even if it’s only 3-5% of the purchase price, that can still be significantly more cash needed up-front than a typical “first-last-deposit” situation with a lease.
At the same time, the down payment and future mortgage payments will theoretically build equity, and having the asset of a home could be helpful for retirees that have unexpected expenses or emergencies. There are also intangible factors for retirees to take into consideration such as pride-in-ownership and having the freedom to decorate and renovate to your particular taste.
But don’t forget, when you own the property, then you are most likely responsible for all ongoing maintenance items around the exterior and interior of the home. From lawn to landscaping, roofs to A/C’s, appliances and everything in between - being a retired homeowner is not necessarily retirement from ongoing upkeep.

Renting a Home at Retirement


Less Maintenance
Location Flexibility


Increasing Rent Cost
“Wasted” Money

Many of the counter arguments in favor of renting, draw from the pro and con list associated with buying, especially as it relates to finances. With a fixed rate mortgage, the monthly and annual costs are easily budget, as is the case with a lease agreement. But what happened when the landlord decides to increase the lease amount? What if the lease amount is increased every year or at every renewal? Many retirees do not want to be put in a position where they are forced to move due to increasing rental rates. Additionally, the money spent month after month, and year after year, on a rented property does not have the opportunity to grow any equity or value for the retiree.
The pros of renting at retirement include being able to move to different locations or trying varying property types to find what bests suits your retirement. And, what suits many people of retirement age is less ongoing maintenance around the exterior and interior of their home or condo. Renters often enjoy less extra work around the house, leaving repairs and upkeep to the owner of the property.
These are just a few things to consider when deciding between buying or renting at retirement. For more in-depth information on cities, neighborhoods, and property types offering fantastic Florida retirement living, please contact us.

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