Worst month to find renters

Landlord Forums & Rental Property Questions 166.0K Posts 17.1K Discussions

A couple questions.

In your experience when is the worst time to have a vacancy? My guess is around the holiday season.

Second question is from a risk perspective. I have an opportunity to purchase a house that is next to one I already own. I like the idea of having two places close to each other from a logistics perspective. However should I be concerned about risk factors such as a neighborhood fire, giant crime spree the drags the area down etc. Just concerned about risk exposure with two houses next to each other.

Hey Joe,
Worst months for finding tenants are nov-jan. Spring / summer the best.

I keep my rentals close so I can exit w/ a turnkey package.

Cheers,
Mark

Medium square logo final flatMark Updegraff, Updegraff Development LLC | [email protected] | (585) 314‑9790 | http://www.RochesterInvestment.com | NY Agent # 10491205428

Originally posted by JoeinOH:
A couple questions.

In your experience when is the worst time to have a vacancy? My guess is around the holiday season.

Second question is from a risk perspective. I have an opportunity to purchase a house that is next to one I already own. I like the idea of having two places close to each other from a logistics perspective. However should I be concerned about risk factors such as a neighborhood fire, giant crime spree the drags the area down etc. Just concerned about risk exposure with two houses next to each other.


I have the same concerns--tornado or tropical storm or rising waters messing up both houses at the same time. However some might call that paranoid. But I think if it's a good deal it's worth the risk. And the risk probably isn't that high.

I agree, at least around here, summer is easiest and winter is hardest.

As for properties next to each other, I love it. I own a 4-plex next to an office building. I can manage both of them much easier because of the proximity. I wouldn't worry about things that insurance can cover.

Actually, I think if you feel the neighborhood is worth investing in (for one property), you should feel it is worth owning 2 properties there. In general, I wouldn't invest in an area I don't think has some level of value.

So, go for it!

It is harder to find renters in the winter time. If you live in a snow area, folks hate moving in the snow. Holidays are a tough time to move. But on the other hand, people looking during this time are usually more serious and really have to move.

As for having all your homes in one area, that is like having all of your 401K in one stock. Just hope it is Microsoft and not Enron. Ask those who had all their rentals in Las Vegas, Southern California, Phoenix or Florida. They took a beating. Having just 2 or 3 in one area may not be bad, but at some point, you will want to diversify somewhat.

Speaking of this topic....I'm having a tough time renting my basement level apartment in a 6-plex. Only 2 showings in a week. WOW ! Not liking this down cycle. Anyone else having this issue?

Worst month is December. Second worst month is January.

I disagree with the others about having all your rentals in same area. I own 7 quads and they are all within walking distance of each other. I am not driving all over town to service them. They are local to me so I can check in on them easily which I could not do if my properties were in another state. With my properties being so close, I know almost all of the property owners and we watch out for each other's units.

Snow or no snow, December is by the worst month and Like Jennifer said January runs a close second. When I have had vacancies in these month's the number of applicants is always much smaller and the quality seems poorer.

absolutely december and january for me....holidays put a huge dent in tenant's bank accounts...but by late jan. and february come around, tenants are getting their refunds back just in time to give me a deposit!!

Bryan A., Carolinas Revitalization, LLC | [email protected] | 704‑905‑6510 | http://www.facebook.com/carolinasrevitalization

Bryan beat me to it. From about Thanksgiving to late January is the toughest time.

I have had luck by hanging Christmas lights on my vacant units to get people to notice them. Still, didn't get the lease signed until late January though.

As mentioned already, Spring and Summer are the best months to attract renters. However, late Winter and early Spring bring out some motivated renters. Beware of these motivated renters, do your due diligence (understand why they have to move, their circumstances, etc.) in order to mitigate your risk.

As for having properties in the same area, I'm in favor of this strategy!

December through January... nothing new here.

As for owning in one location... I guess I like keeping them close... owned 18 duplexes in a three block area.

Originally posted by Bryan Alenky:
... but by late jan. and february come around, tenants are getting their refunds back just in time to give me a deposit!!

That's right when we found our most recent tenants. And they've been great so far.

I also love my homes close together.

Related to 2nd question: How hard is it to rent right AFTER school starts? As in the next 30 days or so?

Jon Klaus, SellPropertyFast | [email protected] | 214‑929‑6545

John, September is usually good for me.

School start only matters to people with school age children. They are the ones who want to get settled before school starts. If they can think ahead that far. Some of them can't.

September weather is good for moving. Tenants play when they aren't at work, they don't look for a new place to live. By September, they have had enough rafting and camping. It's just before hunting season, when they also won't look for a place to live.

Great information here. thanks everyone for answering my questions.

I did in fact buy the house. The timing stinks because it will probably take another 3 weeks or so to close, then I'll need another 4 weeks for rehab work.

So I'm looking at this house being ready to rent around the first of November.

Here in NJ, the worst months for me have been September to January. And that's when I bought my first rental, and had my first eviction. Took 2 - 3 months to re-rent the place.

I'll be closing on a couple of condos in FL in the next 2 months, so we'll see if things are similar there. At least tenants don't have snow and cold to deal with when moving.

Originally posted by JoeinOH:
Great information here. thanks everyone for answering my questions.

I did in fact buy the house. The timing stinks because it will probably take another 3 weeks or so to close, then I'll need another 4 weeks for rehab work.

So I'm looking at this house being ready to rent around the first of November.


Joe, lately I've had good success with pre-leasing my homes. I leased one at the end of July that won't be finished with rehab for another month. The tenant has a flexible situation with the move out date in their current home. They seem very happy to wait and watch the rehab process. I've also pre-leased 3 other homes this summer. Give it a try, some tenants want to sign and put down deposits in advance.

Jon Klaus, SellPropertyFast | [email protected] | 214‑929‑6545

great point jon..i'm rehabbing a few units in a building right now and i've had a few people offer to pay 1 month's rent and deposit to go ahead and get one of the apartments we're going thru.good way to protect yourself in the coming cold months

Bryan A., Carolinas Revitalization, LLC | [email protected] | 704‑905‑6510 | http://www.facebook.com/carolinasrevitalization

Originally posted by Jon Klaus:
Originally posted by JoeinOH:
Great information here. thanks everyone for answering my questions.

I did in fact buy the house. The timing stinks because it will probably take another 3 weeks or so to close, then I'll need another 4 weeks for rehab work.

So I'm looking at this house being ready to rent around the first of November.


Joe, lately I've had good success with pre-leasing my homes. I leased one at the end of July that won't be finished with rehab for another month. The tenant has a flexible situation with the move out date in their current home. They seem very happy to wait and watch the rehab process. I've also pre-leased 3 other homes this summer. Give it a try, some tenants want to sign and put down deposits in advance.


I actually did that with one of my other houses. Tennant signed lease and put down deposit about 6 weeks before the house was ready.

Problem was my contractors cut things down to the wire. We found some issues during the rehab we were not expecting which pushed the schedule back. This created all sorts of headaches as the guy that rented my place had scheduled movers, couldn't extend the lease where he was even for a week...etc.

My contractors endedup doing a 24 hour marathon session to finish the place. The paint on the front door was still wet as the tennant was moving in.

I told myself then I would never cut it that close again...to much worry and hassle if something goes wrong w/the rehab.