If you’re considering relocating near the Tampa, FL area you’re likely wondering about your housing options. Luckily, in Tampa you’ll find prices lower than the U.S. median cost for both renting and buying. Across the country, renters can expect to pay $1,386 each month, while in Tampa they pay slightly less, $1,285. National home values are currently at $182,500 while in Tampa that value drops to $148,600. So, the first housing decision in relocating is to choose whether renting or buying is right for you.
In Tampa, it only takes 1.5 years for the costs of buying a home to break even with the costs of renting. So, if your move is scheduled to last at least 1 year and 7 months, then buying a home is financially a better option.
The next step is to decide where you plan to buy. Consider these two new constructions communities, both packed with amenities.
At the convergence of Hillsborough County, Pinellas County and Pasco County you’ll find single family homes and townhomes within the community. The Starkey Ranch development will include retail shops, a park, pool and recreational facility with baseball, softball and soccer fields. The location provides quick access to Tampa Bay beaches, professional sports stadiums, theme parks and zoos. Plus, it’s within close proximity to major Tampa employers.
Eventually, Starkey Ranch will have 5,000 homes ranging in style. Some models include large front porches while others boast private backyards. These homes range in price based on the features you select to build out your personalized home, but they start at $257,990 or $331,990 depending on style.
The cost of these homes is a little more than the median home values in each of the three counties it resides in. However, all three counties are expecting upwards of 6 percent annual home value appreciation with forecasted lift throughout 2016. Therefore, the Starkey Ranch community could be a foot in the door, while costs are low, and a solid investment plan for valuable returns at resale.
Alternatively, in north Pasco County you may find a more affordable and suitable lifestyle fit at the Talavera community. The development includes a slightly farther commute but saves you about $50,000 on that final price tag. Homes in Talavera start at $199,990 and include 11 different floor plan options.
The community will have fewer homes than Starkey Ranch with just 750 homes, but includes excellent amenities such as a pool, playground and tennis courts.
Plus, if an eco-friendly home is of interest to you, Talavera may be your ideal neighborhood. Homes are built with M/I Homes’ Whole Home program, ensuring top-of-the-line energy efficiencies and use of local materials whenever possible.
Additionally, Talavera homes include a 15-year transferable structure warranty which is one and half times your average warranty. Such warranties allow buyers to sell their properties while still covered – a great benefit at resale. In this community, you should feel financially secure. Home values in Pasco County are rising at a rate of 6.3 percent year-over-year and are expected to appreciate at a more sustainable rate of 1.8 percent throughout 2016.
Both Starkey Ranch and Talavera offer excellent community atmospheres for your new life near Tampa. Plus, buying a new construction home reduces the stress of purchasing an older property with unexpected, costly maintenance issues. Explore your options for both a comfortable daily lifestyle within your means while considering the financial reliability of the overall investment.
Written by: Tali Wee. Tali Wee writes about finances, home improvement and interior design for Zillow and other partners.