Does every town need rental units?

8 Replies

I ask because my husband and I bought our first investment property, which we are currently rehabbing. We planned to flip this one, but have now decided to hold it as a rental. Now, there’s another house nearby that we’re interested in purchasing, as another rental. Here’s my concern though: the town where these houses are located is lower/middle income. Houses sell for around 110k-130k, give or take. We’re looking to get around 1100 in rent. But as I research what other people are charging for rent, I’m not really finding anything that’s actually FOR RENT. So, I’m left wondering if this is bad news or great news. Does this mean nobody rents in this area? Or does it mean this area is in dire need of rental units? I’m baffled. I would think that in a lower-ish income area, there would HAVE to be renters, but maybe I’m way off base. Please give me your thoughts :)

I think it depends on the size of the town and its proximity to job centers, if there are no jobs nearby demand for rentals will be less.  Small towns seem to have more owner occupants who just want to get away from the crowds in the big cities.

I would suggest calling an agent in your area. I’m sure they would give you quick, honest advice. And be able to tell you if your monthly ask is within average.
My area is a bit similar, however, in my case it is because there is such a high demand for rentals and very low inventory. It takes a matter of days for one to rent a property. For owners, this is obviously a great thing as it drives the monthly rent up.
Another way to track this is via Zillow, Realtor.com, or the MLS. You can create an email alert for any properties for rent that come on the market.
Congrats on your first investment property and good luck!

Cheers,
Johnna

@Aaron Klatt --thanks so much for the insight.  The town is about 20 minutes from a bigger city, and about 50 minutes from Atlanta.  I'm hoping that's close enough to warrant needing rentals!

@Johnna Randazzo --thanks so much, Johnna.  I'm so excited about this venture into real estate!  Your area sounds great, albeit competitive!  I'm going to contact a local agent today, and keep my fingers crossed.

@Kelly Bellini although the numbers are a little high for my area (and each area is different) check out rentometer.com That should show you other rentals in the area. 

I doubt it means no one rents, especially at that price point it would almost certainly mean there are renters. It may just be a tight market with few properties for rent at any given time since they go quickly. Or it could just be an aberration. 

@Derek E.--Thanks, Derek!  Will definitely check out that site!

@Andrew Syrios --My fingers are crossed that you are correct, Andrew.  I'm hoping we tapped into a good, little market.  I'm keeping an eye on a couple of properties that went up for rent yesterday and today.  If they go quickly, I think we are in good shape.  I just hate the waiting!  I'm so impatient about this stuff.  I suppose it doesn't help that the holidays are here...slowing everybody down.

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