Renting Properties in a Buyer’s Market

by guest author Nicholas

I have recently moved to a mid-size Arizona market. This market is rapidly starting to feel the down-turn in the housing market that Jeffry mentioned in his latest post on Smaller Texas Real Estate Markets Doing Well. The houses that are for sale are staying on the market longer and longer. I am planning on being in this area for 6-9 months before moving out of Arizona, so I will discuss two options that are available to me.

Renting

This is the easy choice. No money down, no homeowners insurance, and very few worries (other than making the monthly rent payment). Those are the benefits. You already know the downfall, throwing that cash away every month without gaining any equity. You also have to abide by any rules that the owner of the house decides to impose.

Buying

So I mention to most people that I am considering buying even though I am only going to be here for 6 months, and they are appalled. Why would you do that, especially in a slowing market for such a short time? The answer: Property Management Firms. So the situation would go like this, I would buy a house, live in it for the six months I am here, move out of state, and establish a contract with a property management firm.

These firms will show your house to perspective renters, do credit checks, ensure employment, conduct minor maintenance on the house, and collect the rent money each month. They typically charge 9% to 12% of the monthly check to manage your property. Most times, you as the owner even get to approve potential renters. Hold the property until the market goes back up and sell or just keep it as another potential source of income. This is just another possible way to invest in a buyer’s real estate market. Good luck!

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