South Florida Rental Market, Now is the Time to Buy!

Debbie Wysocki, Realtor ®, GRI, CLHMS
Debbie Wysocki, Realtor ®, GRI, CLHMS
Published on October 2, 2017

With the South Florida rental market showing some of the highest rents in America, it is no wonder that many renters are spending as much as 44 percent of their incomes on housing versus 29 percent historically, according to Zillow.

The biggest concern for future home buyers is coming up with the down payment; in fact, more than 65 percent of South Florida’s renters cited the down payment as a major obstacle.

While the down payment always has been a hurdle for potential homebuyers, it’s become an even bigger concern recently, said Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist. Buyers understand that lending requirements have tightened in the years following the housing boom, when even borrowers of modest means regularly bought homes without putting any money down, she said.

The next major challenge for our future home buyer is qualifying for the mortgage, followed by outstanding debt and job security.

The good news is there are two programs that many people may not be aware of . . . and sometimes even an agent may not be aware.

The first is program is from Mortgage company Freddie Mac who offers 1-percent-down-payment loans, while the Federal Housing Administration has available mortgages for 3.5 percent – both of these programs make it easier for the first time home buyer to qualify.

And, military personnel and veterans can qualify for Veterans Administration loans, which don’t have any down payment requirement.

There is a misconception that you need a large down payment and a perfect or near perfect credit score said Karen Santor, Senior Mortgage Loan Officer at Highlands Mortgage –but it’s just not true – we can help you get into that home with consistent income, a reasonable debt to income ratio, a good credit score.

It was interesting to note according to a recently released Freddie Mac survey  (Freddie Mac renter survey [PDF],) of renters on April 12, that there are a declining number of renters working towards home ownership (and a large number who are working towards ownership are immigrants). While renter financial confidence rose for all age groups and most segments of the country, it was most pronounced in for those who live in rural America up to 46 percent from 27 percent and us Baby Boomers (I am one) up from 38 percent to 48 percent from the September 2016 survey.

While the increase in renter financial confidence has not triggered an increase in buying, it was noted that ‘they do intend to buy in a few years.’ However, what I found quite interesting was that respondents said they were unlikely to move even if their rent was raised (baffling), when you think that it has become more expensive to rent than purchase a home in all but a few cities in America.

Which brings me back to the beginning of this article, most people are concerned about the down payment.

The key is to find a good Realtor, who will connect you with a GREAT Mortgage Loan Officer who will get you pre-approved. Then, you will soon be able to enjoy home ownership. Rates truly are still at near historic lows – now is a great time to purchase.

You deserve to ‘Love Where You Live’ and enjoy the American Dream of Home Ownership.

My goal is to be a Difference Maker for my clients.  Whether buying or selling, I will negotiate the best terms for you and create a great Real Estate’ Experience’ that is stress free – everyone should ‘Love where you live.’  If you don’t have a Realtor, I would be happy to connect you with a Realtor in your area to assist you in finding out the value of your home & in getting Top Dollar for your home.  I am in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Connect with me at

South Florida Rental Market, Now is the Time to Buy!
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