I was showing retirement homes to a single guy from up north, He saw a few homes he liked but friends kept telling him he should look at more cities. They told him to rent a house for a while and take his time looking.
I told him about a couple who rented in On Top of the World for a year. They wanted to be sure they liked it there. After I found them a house I said to the wife that prices had gone up a lot in that year. She agreed and thought it was a good $5-$10,000. In addition she and her husband spent another $1200 a month in rent.
A few things to think about if you think renting and looking is a good idea.
55+ communities restrict rentals most are a minimum of 6 months and landlords prefer a years lease.
Timing can be a problem. What if you find a perfect house in the first month ? Do you wait and hope it doesn’t sell right away ? Do you go for it knowing you will owe the rest of your lease ? Expect to pay a good $1000 a month in rent. Three four or five months rent is a lot if you find a house right away.
I suggested to my buyer that if he wanted to see other areas he’d be better off just driving around and staying in a nice hotel for a few days in each city. It’s cheaper in the long run than getting involved in a 6 month plus lease. He had to admit the 2 days he spent with me looking at communities and homes gave him an excellent idea of what we have here in Ocala for 55+ homes.