Does Buying A Home In Tampa Florida Make Good Financial Sense?

If you are like many people thinking of buying a home in Tampa or anyplace in Florida, you may have friends and relatives questioning your sanity. If you are wondering whether buying a home in Tampa, Florida makes good financial sense, there are a few thoughts to ponder. Are you wondering why you are buying a home, in the first place?

It’s true that those who bought property a few years ago have suffered a financial loss of equity, if they are trying to liquidate at a profit. For those that held onto their home, the loss won’t occur, unless they sell before prices go up. It’s expected that prices will remain lower through 2012, but by 2015, an appreciation of 10% is expected and that’s still better than putting your money in a savings account, nowadays.

The main reasons it makes sense to buy a home in Tampa, Florida or anyplace else are fairly basic. You are probably looking for a place to raise your family, looking for good schools and a stable neighborhood or looking for a larger home, with more space. Other reasons may involve non-financial reasons, such as being able to own a pet if you want or being able to paint walls and remodel, which is difficult to do when renting.

When faced with naysayers, think about the age-old saying that states you should “buy low and sell high”. Nobody is claiming this is a good time to sell a home and make a huge profit, but it is a great time to purchase a home and see some appreciation, down the road. Buying a home in Tampa, Florida makes financial sense and you are likely to see appreciation in a few, short years.

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Survey: 5 Homebuying Myths

Overall, today’s homebuyers tend to be fairly knowledgeable about the real estate market, but there are still a few points of confusion in the process, especially for buyers just entering the market. Here are the five main areas of confusion found in a survey by Zillow:

• Appreciation: About 42 percent of homebuyers believe home values will appreciate by 7 percent a year. Reality: Historically, home values in a normal market appreciate by 2 to 5 percent in a year.

• Appraisals: 56 percent of the buyers said the purpose of the appraisal was to determine if a home was in good condition. Reality: That’s the purpose of a home inspection; an appraisal estimates fair market value.

• Homeowner’s insurance: 37 percent of homebuyers think that buying homeowner’s insurance is optional. Reality: Lenders require homebuyers to purchase homeowner’s insurance if they carry a mortgage.

• Ownership: 47 percent of homebuyers said a prospective buyer owns a home after the purchase contract is signed by the seller – when the two parties reach agreement. Reality: The purchase and sales agreement is the beginning of the closing phase, but it can be a long process until they finally take ownership.

• Mortgage insurance: 41 percent of buyers think they must purchase private mortgage insurance, regardless of the amount of their downpayment. Reality: Buyers only need to purchase PMI if their downpayment is less than 20 percent of the home’s purchase price.

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Source: Zillow Inc.

About Tampa Florida

Located on the western coast of Florida, Tampa may seem like one of the smaller metropolitan cities, but it’s big on culture, infrastructure and it’s considered a booming port city, besides being a major business hub. The Tampa Bay area includes Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, but the four-county area contains almost 3 million residents, with approximately 338,000 living in Tampa.

You may be familiar with Tampa because of Busch Gardens or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but there are plenty of reasons to learn about the Tampa Florida lifestyle. If you are looking for a great place to raise a family or retire in a warm, sunny climate, Tampa Florida is the ideal place! The Atlantic Ocean is a short drive across the peninsula, but Tampa offers calmer Gulf waters and golden sand beaches, which are equally attractive. Fishing and boating are popular past-times, with plenty of other things to do, including golf, shopping and relaxing.

As a forward-thinking community with Cuban and Latino influence, it has been called the “cigar capital of the world”. You may see characteristics which remind you of Key West. Authentic Latin food is served in restaurants, which are influenced by the historical heritage of immigrant workers that relocated to the area, when the Ybor’s Cigar Company moved its headquarters from Key West to Tampa, in 1885.

There’s plenty of outdoor life, which has ranked Tampa as 5th best outdoor city by Forbes in 2008. It has also gained recognition as a top city for young adults, since the abundance of recreational opportunities set Tampa apart from other college towns. Tourists flock to the sandy beaches for beautiful sunsets and relaxing in the sun. Those that learn all about Tampa, Florida may decide to call a Tampa real estate professional and relocate to the area, permanently.

Bargains Abound: What Are Buyers Waiting For?

NEW YORK – Oct. 28, 2011 – With low home prices and ultra-low interest rates, the housing market now offers “perhaps the best deals of a generation,” notes a recent article by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Since the housing boom of 2006, home prices have fallen about 31 percent. Also, mortgage rates have been hovering at record lows for the past few weeks  – in the 4 percent range or even lower on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, according to Freddie Mac’s mortgage market survey.

“It’s hard to see the possibility of losing on a home purchase right now, with these mortgage rates,” says economist Dean Baker. “Prices may go lower, but not by much.”

The article notes the following scenario: Buying a $300,000 home with a 4 percent mortgage rate and a 20 percent down payment would mean a $1,145 monthly payment. The Mortgage Bankers Association recently predicted that home prices may fall another 3.5 percent by mid-2012, but mortgage rates will increase by a half-point. Under that same loan scenario, a home would sell for $289,000 while the monthly mortgage bill would be $1,171 – only a $26 difference.

For those who can qualify for a mortgage, “playing the waiting game” won’t result in much gain, Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS in Englewood, Colo., told Bloomberg Businessweek.

Source: “Crazy Home Deals Await the Creditworthy,” Bloomberg Businessweek (Oct. 24, 2011)

Buying Versus Renting In Tampa, Florida

There are reasons to purchase your home, in Tampa, Florida. While the housing market is changing every place, stabilization is taking place in the Tampa Bay area. Before prices start going higher, it’s an excellent time to analyze the benefits of purchasing a home in Tampa, versus renting. Everybody knows about the beautiful year-round climate, but there are other reasons to consider.

It’s no longer true that renting is cheaper than home ownership. In fact, 71% of the largest U.S. cities offer a cost-savings, when you purchase a home, instead of renting. The same is true of Tampa, since a two-bedroom, two-bath condo will rent for around $1000 a month, but to purchase a similar townhome, you may only pay around $750 a month, including insurance, taxes and homeowner association dues.

Since you can deduct your mortgage interest on taxes, there are tax benefits to owning and you can bring home more money on your paycheck or get a larger tax refund. There aren’t any tax benefits to renting and each month, you will be building equity in an asset. Since mortgage rates are lower than they’ve been in decades, less of your payment goes towards interest and more goes towards building equity.

One of the primary reasons Tampa home ownership makes better sense is you don’t need to worry about modifying your home or worry about a landlord not making mortgage payments. In recent years, it’s become increasingly common for financially-strapped landlords to collect rent, but not make house payments on your home. Unexpectedly, you could find yourself scrambling to find another place to live, once the home goes into foreclosure. There are many reasons to consider home ownership in Tampa, but these are a few of the most popular reasons.

A Profile Of Tampa Florida

When getting in on the Florida housing market bottom, finding the ideal location could be your biggest problem. Once you study a profile of Tampa Florida, you may find it more attractive than Orlando or Miami. While it sits on the Gulf Coast waters, they are more peaceful, compared to the Atlantic Ocean side of Florida. Many people consider Tampa to be on the “relaxing” side of Florida.

While the Everglades National Park encompasses a large portion of the southern Florida Peninsula, there are many tourist attractions close to Tampa. Real estate agents in Tampa are especially keen on the best neighborhoods for clients and the best housing values in the Tampa area, so you can be located, conveniently and affordably.

The climate is tropical-with a January average temperature of 51 degrees Fahrenheit and a July average temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This means Tampa offers the perfect climate for swimming, boating, fishing, golf and shopping. With a population of nearly 337,000 people, the area is growing because of the attractive climate and modern infrastructure.

With 246 sunny days annually, almost every day can be perfect to lie on the beach or travel to theme parks in the area, such as Busch Gardens. Orlando is about an hour and a half away, so you can visit SeaWorld, Disneyland or Universal Studios, without an overnight hotel stay involved.

With a median resident age of 34.7 years, versus Florida’s median age of 38.7, younger families are moving to the city and there are plenty of amenities that cater to them. The estimated median house or condo values have doubled in the last decade, but recent Florida housing market declines have made them affordable, again. When analyzing the profile of Tampa, there are numerous reasons to live here.

Tampa Florida Is Active In The International Markets

As a global economy has become increasingly obvious, it’s important to know that Tampa Florida is active in the International markets. Tourism and healthcare are seeing employment growth in Tampa, primarily because of the International visitors that frequent Florida and the Tampa area, for sightseeing and tourist attractions.

With the Internet, Florida’s massive transportation system and the ideal climate, many manufacturer representatives are relocating to Florida and Tampa, in particular. Since it’s possible to be involved in the International marketplace without leaving home, more people are searching for affordable housing choices in Tampa, Florida. International trade is a bright spot, with stronger economic growth in foreign countries, like Asia and Latin America.

For those attracted to national events, Tampa is a finalist to host Super Bowl XLIX in 2015. While competing with Phoenix for the event, there’s a good possibility that Tampa, Florida can become a leader because of its International presence. Should this become a realized accomplishment, you can expect to see Tampa launched onto the International sports scene, as well.

What’s this mean to those searching for a home in Tampa? You can expect to see the housing market continue to improve and home prices continue to increase. First quarter 2011 home sales were up 17 percent in the Tampa Bay area, but the same can’t be said of Phoenix-the other competitor. Tampa offers a lively, yet stable economic environment to host such a popular, well-recognized event.

If you are thinking about the ways that Tampa Florida has launched onto the International scene, you can’t forget the port, since there’s over 200 sailings and 4 cruise lines to choose from. When you depart from the Port of Tampa, you may find yourself immersed in the International marketplace, by cruise ship!

Neighborhoods And Communities Of Tampa, Florida

The neighborhoods and communities in Tampa, Florida consist of annexed communities, which form the metropolitan area. Of the other communities, you will find certain characteristics to be considered, if you are interested in relocating to the area. While the city is divided into larger segments, referred to as North Tampa, South Tampa, West Tampa, and East Tampa, the beautiful skyline is attributable to Downtown Tampa.

Perhaps you’ve heard of suburbs, such as Sulphur Springs, Seminole Heights, Tampa Heights or Davis Islands. Tampa Palms, College Hill, Hyde Park, Ybor City or Forest Hills are other names you will hear, when searching for homes in Tampa. Ballast Point, Palma Ceia and even, non-residential areas of Westshore may be considered communities in their own right, but they are considered part of the Tampa city limits. St. Petersburg and Clearwater are in close proximity and connected with these out-lying areas. It can be confusing for newcomers, when they start looking for a home to purchase, however.

You don’t need to go very far away from Tampa to find a master-planned community, for less than $300,000. Some of the best schools in the area can be found in places like East Lake Woodlands Community in Oldsmar, between Clearwater and Tampa, for example. Fishhawk Ranch in Lithia offers plenty of recreational amenities and Mira Bay in Apollo Beach offers resort-style living.

Riverview has good schools and Westchase, Safety Harbor, Dunedin and Oldsmar have some kind of town center shopping, so it’s a matter of choosing your most desired features. You can find a variety of architecture and styles of homes, besides affordability in many suburban settings. Tampa housing options offer reasonable commutes and have attributes you’ll find desirable. A Tampa Realtor can narrow your choices.

Fun Things To Do In Tampa, Florida

If you’re searching for fun things to do in Tampa, you don’t have to look very hard. There are so many different fun things to do for couples, families and friends that you may have a difficult time deciding. Fortunately, they are near and don’t require much travel time.

The best-known fun thing to do in Tampa is visiting Busch Gardens, and it offers an amazing experience and a great value for families. It’s less crowded than theme parks in Orlando, yet offers an amusement park and zoo, rolled into a single location. You can feed tropical birds, visit the tiger compound or encounter a waterfall on the Congo River Rapids ride. With 3 water rides, you can cool down on hot summer days.

For one of the most affordable, fun things to do in Tampa Florida, visit the Tampa Manatee Viewing Center. It’s free and you can see the manatees from October to April 15th, so it’s seasonal, because they’re in a natural environment. There are only two viewing areas and parking can be a little difficult, but it’s well worth the wait, when open.

For adults, Yuengling Brewery is the best free attraction for beer-lovers. You get a tour that shows you how beer is brewed and bottled, followed by free samples at the end. It’s educational and free! You do need to be able to climb a few flights of stairs, so it isn’t handicap accessible.

These are just a few of the fun things to do in Tampa, Florida. You can always lie on the beach, visit the wonderful shops or try some of the delicious food, which comes in all varieties. There are plenty of other fun things to do in Tampa and many of them don’t cost anything.

Going Fishing in Tampa, Florida

Undoubtedly, there will be some people interested in fishing on the Tampa Bay and the Gulf waters, when visiting Tampa, Florida. You won’t be disappointed and there are many ways to enjoy the year-round fishing seasons. Charter boats are the best way to enjoy the Gulf of Mexico or the Bay. Experienced captains can take you to where snook, redfish, trout, grouper, snapper or amberjack are waiting.

You will find certain charter boat companies specialize in certain depths and species, so it helps to know a little bit about what kind of fishing you hope to participate in. The captains are experienced in finding fish, since most of them are locals that have been fishing these waters, for many years.

Flats fishing offers a fun, fishing experience on the Tampa Bay, whether you’re a beginner or more experienced. Fishing inshore on the flats can give you plenty of excitement, for the money. Shore fishing is offered from fishing piers and beaches, but you can take advantage of charter boats that specialize in fishing inshore flats, from a number of different marinas in Tampa, St. Petersburg or Clearwater.

When you want to go after larger species, consider a deep-sea fishing expedition. The captains that fish the Gulf of Mexico know the best places to go after these larger fish and you will find everything included, from your fishing licenses, gear and possibly, beverages. You will want to check with individual charter boats, since this can vary, depending on the type of charter fishing trip and the owners.

Whether you are interested in flats fishing or Gulf fishing, you will find Tampa, Florida offers a perfect variety for those that love this exciting activity. It’s difficult for avid fishermen to visit the Tampa Bay area, without thinking about fishing!