How to find tenants when most people want to own a home?

10 Replies

Hello everybody!

I'm new to real estate, and as I'm looking at some houses online, the thought struck me that most other people who are looking at houses on this site want to own their home, not to rent. It's my understanding that in general most people would rather own a home than rent, especially longterm. 

In that case, how do you find tenants who are interested in renting (especially longterm), when most people want to own their own home?

Thank you!

- Niz

I think there is a 55% home ownership rate in the country, so that leaves ALOT of people who need to rent.  Even in high end neighborhoods, there are people who are in the city for 2-3 years that dont wantt o commit to a house, or who canpt come up with the down payment, or dont have great credit.  Maybe 2 of their kids will be moving out soon, or they need a place for elderly parents to live with them for a few years and then they plan to retire to BALI.   So Many reasons to rent over buying, there are always people to rent any house. 

@Nisreen Al-Basha  Whether they want to own or not, the fact is, a lot of people in the US rent and always will.  (And many people do want to rent by the way.)  

Home ownership rates always seem to hover in the mid 60 percent range, which means 30-something percent of the households in the US are renters.  That's over a 100 million people.  Here's a couple places you can go to check some numbers if you're into that sort of thing:

National Multifamily Housing Council - Quick Facts: Resident Demographics

U.S. Census Bureau - Quarterly Residential Vacancies and Homeownership statistics

The bottom line is though, you will always have a pool of renters to rent to.  

You know, perspective is everything. I know people who **aspire** to be a leaseholder. They may have been couch surfing for a while or have been in a bad relationship where the other party was the leaseholder and would kick them out without notice or constantly threaten too do so.

I've had young tenants tell me that the welcome gift I provide for first time tenants is the nicest gift anyone has ever given them.

It's tough out there-- and for people starting out poor, it's really tough.

We have had a LOT of tenants pass through our rentals before moving on to their own homes. But our rents are higher & you could buy a home with what we collect in rents but most are just starting out, have student loan issues or poor credit. Our most recent tenant was a recently graduated Veterinarian who we know will be looking hard to buy in a couple of years assuming her student loans are not an obstacle to qualifying. Then again we have others who have been with us 15-20 years who will never own a home.

I’m in Jacksonville Florida & we have a lot of people that want to rent down here. I’ve worked with a lot of good people over the past 15 years that want to rent first, because they want to get to know the area first before they buy. Or maybe they moved here for a job opportunity & they want to make sure the job works out first before they buy. Some Tenants stay a year, some 5 years, some 10 years, etc. Hope this helps. 

Huge succesful multifamily investors never own a house, or a dog for that matter, They are all over the country getting rich from their multi endeavors,  with investors on board. 

Hi @Nisreen Al-Basha !

Lots of good responses on here already but I'll throw in my 2 cents.

Renting is appealing to many people for many reasons but the main ones are related to cost and convenience. 

Many people rent because they can't afford to buy, it's true, but that isn't always the whole story. I renovate and rent out historic homes in Jacksonville, FL and in these neighborhoods you can rent a decent apartment for $1200/month, but there are hardly any homes available that you could purchase/own for a similar monthly cost. There's very little inventory below $200k so it makes sense to rent a nice apartment until you can afford to purchase a more expensive home.

Convenience is another factor with impact. Many of my tenants are younger folk who like the flexibility of renting - not being locked into owning a home. That way they can move for a new job, or try out living in a new location. They're not 100% sure what the next 5 years will hold so having the option to leave easily makes sense.

Also I've had several tenants (doctors) who just liked having a landlord being responsible for maintenance. They work long hours so don't want to be obligated to deal with maintenance issues in their limited free time.