A recent Fox Business article looked at what a family could rent for less than $1,000 a month in different cities. One of the cities mentioned was Tampa, which is where I live. For less than $1,000, a person can rent a 1-bedroom apartment. The average rental price is $845 a month, according to Fox. The national average for an apartment is more like $1,200 a month because of limited inventory. I’m quite skeptical that a family could rent for less than $1,000 a month in my community unless they squeezed into some tight living quarters. It’s definitely better to own than to rent as long as homeowners find foreclosures at reasonable prices and obtain mortgages at the lower rates. By refinancing our home to 2.75 percent, we were able to score a 15-year mortgage for $900 a month.
Finding a cheap rental
One of the ways people are able to find cheap rentals is by renting a home from a homeowner that is in pre-foreclosure, which means they are no longer paying on their mortgage. They are often more willing to work out a deal for tenants. Of course, the trade off is that the renter might have to move out right away if the home goes into foreclosure. Still, I’ve seen a few neighbors appear to rent out their home that’s in the foreclosure process.
Renting a former foreclosure
Even though people should get a bargain for renting out a home that used to be a foreclosure, it’s not always the case. However, if a rental stays on the market for too long, the landlord/owner or property management company tends to lower the rental price. Even though I pay just $900 a month on my mortgage, the going rental price for my home model is $1,500 a month. The only difference is that tenant does not have to pay the $400 a year in home owner’s association fees. Also, I don’t live in a home that was ever in foreclosure since I purchased it new.
Choosing a community with amenities
I did rent an apartment in Tampa about a decade ago. At that time, it cost about $780 a month for an apartment with one bedroom as well as an “office” that I used as a second bedroom. We shared the one bathroom in the apartment that included a balcony. I think what I loved about the apartment was all the amenities including pool, hot tub, tennis courts and clubhouse. If I rented in the future, I’d definitely consider the amenities offered by the community instead of focusing just on square footage or the home or apartment itself.
When I moved to Florida, most of my neighbors in the apartments were having homes built. I ended up purchasing a townhome nearby. I think it’s smart to rent until figuring out where to settle down. Owning a home beats out renting at least in my community because the rental prices are considerably higher. The only exception might be for people who are purchasing expensive new construction homes at a higher price tag. While a single person can still rent for less than $1,000, I’m not sure a family could find anything decent at that price point.
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