In this sagging economy, homes can sit on the market for weeks or months. So, would-be sellers often move on, and instead of handing the keys over to new owners, they hand them to tenants. Sometimes that goes well — sometimes not.
“This is the new reality,” says Chicago Realtor Frank Maguire. “Our market is, you might sell your home or you might not. There’s a whole world of people who are unintentional landlords.”
Unintentional, accidental, reluctant, never-in-the-world-thought-they-would-be-a-landlord landlords. That’s the fate of many a homebuyer trying to sell these days. Sometimes it works out well. Maguire’s next-door neighbor, Paul Williams, is a good example of this trend. Williams, along with his wife and young daughters, rent a home in Rogers Park on Chicago’s far north side. A job change brought them to the area.
They also own a two-bedroom bungalow in Oakland, Calif., that they bought at the height of the housing boom.
“We bought it at just over $500,000,” Williams says, “and the last appraisal was at $260,000.” Once they heard that appraisal, Williams says, he and his wife decided not to sell but instead to rent their home to a friend of a friend. “I’d owned rental property before and had almost a problem every month, and so was not very excited about the idea of becoming a landlord again,” he says. “But we’ve been very fortunate to have a great tenant, knock on wood. Thus far it’s been very uneventful.”
There has been a big jump in the number of single family homes shifting into the rental market since the country’s housing boom started to bust.
Commentary from Bob Karp of Karp Properties LLC: Many homeowners in the Sierra Vista, Hereford Arizona area have been faced with challenge of what to do when they cannot sell their property and must relocate due to a military or job posting. Renting your property is certainly a solution, but there are many issues with handling it yourself. If you are in the city of Sierra Vista, you must collect and pay a 1% rental tax. How will you handle repairs or collecting rents if you are not in the area? Using a licensed property manager may be a solution. Contact our office for more information on professional property management services including costs and benefits.