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To rent or buy? Fort Lauderdale resident debates merits of each as costs rise

MIAMI - When his landlord increased his rent by $1,100 a month, Mike Atkins decided he needed to find a new place to live. 

But the Fort Lauderdale resident who works in sales discovered it wasn't easy finding a more affordable apartment.

"I've been in South Florida four years and have lived in six different places. In the past three months, rents have gone up a thousand dollars in most places" he said. 

 Faced with higher and higher rents per month, Atkins considered buying a home. 

"But now that interest rates are up. I'm no longer in the market to buy a house" he said. 

As rents and housing prices soar in South Florida many people are wondering which is cheaper?  To rent or buy?  

CBS 4 talked to realtors and lenders about the issue and found there is no clear-cut answer.

The average rent in South Florida is $2800 per month.

Compare that to the costs to buy a $350,000 home at the current interest rate which is nearly 6 percent.

Your cost per month is roughly $3,100 dollars when you factor in taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs 

Longtime east Ft Lauderdale realtor Larry Revier said the number of available houses to buy is still low and that is keeping prices high

However, he said renting may be best for people thinking short-term. 

"I would rent because you can reconsider when your lease is up in a year," he said.

But Revier said in the long run, buying may be the better choice. 

"Some people think the current six percent mortgage interest rate will be the lowest in a while. And we may be looking at 8 or 9 percent in the future so the six percent now May be good for your family." 

As for Mike Atkins, he still wants to buy, just not in South Florida.

"I'm looking on the west coast where It's cheaper. I can't afford anything here" he said. 

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