Study shows top Tampa spot to buy homes

Experts weigh buying versus renting

A newly released study lists the best places to buy and rent homes in Tampa Bay.
 
Single family homes in a well-kept neighborhood near USF are the best place to buy a house in Tampa bay, according to real estate site Zillow.com.
 
It's an area broker Bob Piccirilli, president of University Realty, knows well.
 
"Students, parents are now back, driving the price of condos and houses up in the university area and the New Tampa area," he said.
 
Zillow based its study on how quickly you can get your investment back when buying a home.
 
The company said the area around USF is tops in Tampa, followed by East Lake-Orient Park where, according to Piccirilli, "you can get waterfront homes for probably a hundred dollars or less a square foot that are on East Lake."
 
Hill and Dale, Palm River-Clair Mel and Holiday round out the top five.
 
Overall, Zillow said it's a great time to buy a home in Tampa Bay.
 
"Our study shows that for Tampa you actually only have to stay in the house for a little bit over a year in order for it to be financially advantageous to buy the house," said Svenja Gudell, Zillow's director of economic research.
 
When it comes to renting, Zillow ranks Belleair Beach as the best place.
 
In fact, all of their top locations to lease are along the Gulf.
 
Tierra Verde, Reddington Shores, North Reddington Beach, and Hernando Beach, ranked 3-5.
 
But Piccirilli said if you can qualify for financing and have some patience, buying is the way to go.
 
"Does it make more sense to buy something right now? Sure if you can afford it," he said.
 
Along with Tampa, Orlando and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale are also near the top of Zillow's rankings of cities where buying beats renting.
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