Congratulations on your son or daughter being accepted to the University of Florida! Now comes the stressful part: Moving them and all their worldly possessions up here! When it comes to living arrangements, the most common options are
- 1st year in the dorm
Now, you may have had a fleeting thought about purchasing real estate in Gainesville, but dismissed it as a hassle. I'm here to hopefully help you reconsider it as a solid financial decision. Why is now the time to buy in Gainesville, FL? Let me run down some reasons why you want to entertain this thought for your relocating child:
1. Interest rates are still low
Now, for those of you that have read my blogs, you've seen these reasons listed several times and I know I sound like a broken record. But they needed to be cataloged again for the benefit of the savvy parent reading this blog to highlight the current picture and the truth about Gainesville.
Moving on. Hopefully these continued accolades about our area has helped combat some of the media nonsense about the real estate market that is discouraging you from purchasing. Gainesville is hanging in there and continues to be a desirable place to live, work, receive education and retire.
My biggest argument for buying instead of renting is thus, a simple math calculation:
Your child will presumably be here for at least 4 years. Even if you can find them a rental for $700/month, we are talking $8400/year for a total of $33,600 in the landlord's pocket after the course of 4 years. Now, if that money was contributed toward a mortgage payment instead, you would be building equity versus throwing money down the drain.
Even if the mortgage payment is $1000/month (including real estate taxes and insurance/Association fees if CONDO) and you spend a little more to own, you'd still come out ahead, even if you only broke even on your investment when you go to sell after 4 years. Breaking even (after any expenses accrued in the sale of the property) means that your child lived for FREE for the entire time they were in school.
Add to the mix the possibility of having a roommate or two to contribute toward or darn near pay your mortgage payment and you're REALLY on fire!
Curious about what's on the market in Gainesville that just might overshadow that apartment idea you've been looking at? Contact me for a free MLS search. There are quite a few townhomes and condos under $120,000 on the market right now that I'd be happy to send over so you can see what might not end up costing much more than a rental (depending on your credit eligibility, current interest rates, and down payment amount of course).
Consult a local lender to get pre-qualified and find the best loan program and interest rate for this endeavor. If using an FHA loan program for the purchase of this property, please make sure to stop by my FHA approved condos article.
Angela Elliott is a licensed Florida REALTOR® with Century 21 Classic Properties in Gainesville, FL. Please visit my profile for more about me and browse my Gainesville, FL real estate website for additional Alachua County information and listings. Your phone calls are always welcome at (352) 256-7038 as are your e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org. A portion of all my closed sales will be donated to the Alachua Co. Humane Society (View my mission statement).