I’m not necessarily a big fan of the idea that someone should buy a condo or house because they’re ‘throwing money away’ if they rent.  If a person is not in a good position to buy and to keep up with the ongoing costs and maintenance involved with owning, they shouldn’t rush into buying.

However, when someone is in a situation where they can truly afford to buy and they are weighing whether to rent or buy, it is good to know which is better at that time.

In this brief article, the costs associated with renting and buying are compared and a time frame is established for how long you would need to own a home or condo after buying to ‘break even’, or to make it more of an advantage to have bought than to have rented.  Intestingly enough, in the major Florida cities it is now only 20 months.

In Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, a homebuyer needs to stay less than one year and eight months to make ownership the best financial option; in Orlando, he or she needs to stay less than one year and nine months.

Zillow says it analyzed the “breakeven horizon” in more than 200 metros and 7,500 U.S. cities. All possible costs associated with buying and renting were incorporated into the analysis, including down payment, mortgage and rental payments, transaction costs, property taxes, utilities, maintenance costs, tax deductions and opportunity costs, while adjusting for inflation and forecasted home value and rental price appreciation….More at Cheaper to buy than rent for two-year stays

This should not be the only factor in making a decision but should be looked at if the circumstances you are in are favorable for possibly buying at this time.