I’ve been working lately to find a family of 4, two adults, two kids and a small dog, a place to rent here in Atlantic. I don’t normally handle rentals (A Realtor doesn’t get paid to help someone rent a house), but I know these folks want to buy a house here within the year. So I have been making phone calls, calling on signs that I see as I drive around town and asking everyone I meet if they know someone who knows of any homes for rent. I am truly surprised that there isn’t much available! There are a limited number of apartment buildings in town, and although I didn’t call on the apartments, I have been told that it’s hard to find a vacant one of those as well. Who is living in all of these rental properties and why aren’t they buying? I’m just not sure.
So I’m thinking to myself…maybe I should buy some of these homes that have been on the market (for sale) for awhile, and become a landlord myself. There is obviously a need here for rental homes. I could create some cash flow to supplement my income! But…I’m just not sure I want to be a landlord again. My ex-husband and I took a stab at it in Omaha about 12 years ago and neither one of us cared for the late night phone calls about plumbing or heating issues. Nor did we care for collecting rent when it wasn’t paid on time, or feeling awful about evicting a tenant with children. Being a landlord just isn’t a fun job. No…it’s not for me. Maybe more people should jump on that bandwagon though. It’s a lesson of supply and demand. Supply is low and demand is high, at least here in Atlantic.
I got off track … so back to my clients coming into town wanting to rent a home. How am I going to find them a home?
There are several homes to purchase in town. You can buy a house of say $100,000 and have a payment of about $700/month, but you will need money to put down and to use for closing costs, etc. You also need good credit scores and a solid employment history. Long gone are the days when anyone could apply for a mortgage loan and get it. But, you’ll get tax benefits, you’ll have ownership of the home and over time, gain equity. You can rent that same house for about $700/month or more and never build any equity…basically throwing your money away each month. But for those who don’t have stellar credit scores or money for a down payment, or for those people who won’t be staying in the area for very long, renting may be the best option.
I don’t have an answer for this family coming to town. I will try to find them a rental house for the time being. They may have to stay with friends or family for awhile until something becomes available. They could borrow from family to put a down payment on a house and buy one of the available homes in Atlantic. It’ll be a decision I’ll help them through and hopefully they’ll find a great family home.
I would love feedback from anyone on this topic! Please let me know your thoughts on the rental vs. buying housing market here in Atlantic or any parts of the US!