The slow Real Estate market has led many would be sellers to consider turning their New Tampa home into a rental unit. There are many challenges owning and managing rental homes, but before understanding all of the complexities about property management and being a landlord, finding a tenant is the first order of business. The days of placing an ad in the local paper and finding a tenant right away are gone, so knowing who is looking for a rental home and how to find them is very important.
There are all many different types of people searching for a rental home. Sometimes there seems to be as many reasons for renting as there are homes for rent. This is typically overlooked by those that had not planned on renting their home. The needs of these tenants vary significantly and one must demonstrate the ability to meet the needs of any tenant prospect in order to have them submit an application. A closer look at the types of people looking for a rental home in New Tampa will better prepare the owner for the reality of the New Tampa rental market.
Most of the tenant prospects will fit into one or more of these categories:
- Moving to the area, want to rent before buying and are real candidates to buy a home. Most state a desire to know the area prior to purchasing and many will purchase within the first year.
- Moving to area and need to rent before buying because their home is under construction. Many of these would be tenants are looking for shorter term and flexible leases where they can leave early if their home is finished.
- Moving to the area and need to rent and are not necessarily potential buyers. These tenants could stay much longer then one year if the home, community and service live up to expectations.
- Sold their home and need to rent for financial or other reasons. Sometimes owning is just too expensive and equity from the sale of a home can ease the burden of other debts. These tenants will sometimes pay as much as a years rent in advance.
- Don’t like their current New Tampa rental home and want a better place to rent. This could be an issue with their current landlord, neighbors or community.
- Need a bigger rental unit then the one they currently reside in. This could be a recent addition to the family or just natural expansion over time.
- Forced to move because Landlord sold or is planning to sell the home. This happened in many of the condo conversion projects in New Tampa the past few years.
- USF Students that need housing in the area but away from campus. New Tampa is not really in high demand for university housing due to cost, but some prefer and can afford the extra expense to live in a nice home and community.
- Separation and those in the middle of a divorce that need to stay locally. In many of these cases, the tenant prospect has not rented in years.
- Credit issues limit some tenant prospects from being able to buy. These tenants could be the type to always pay rent on time, but get carried away with other things like vehicles and credit cards.
- Temporary transplants for a local job. This is usually more common in areas with more high tech jobs, but there are still plenty coming to the area for 1 or 2 year contracts that do not want to purchase, specially in this market.
- Military transplants that are willing to commute. While MacDill is a bit of a drive for some, others are still drawn to the New Tampa community.
- Just prefer renting. There are some people out there that are fully capable and qualified to purchase, but just do not want to.
It will be important for the person responsible for finding and placing the tenant to know how to react to the needs of each tenant prospect. Remember, these are people looking for a place to call home, so any level of insecurity could cause them to go elsewhere. Many times the homeowners get to caught up in personal needs that they forget this simple fact.
It is also worth noting that some of the tenant prospects could be candidates for a rent to own or lease purchase option. Many just want to know that if they like the place, they will have the opportunity to purchase it at a later date. Granting this option is not necessary to secure the tenant, but being able to clearly identify their fears and addressing that fear will go a long way.
If you are considering turning your home into a rental, be sure to talk to a few professionals prior to placing that first ad or hiring an agent to put the listing in the MLS. New Tampa is still a market in transition and more agents are starting to look more closely at the rental market and providing tenant placement services to owners that could not sell their homes. That being said, very few tenant prospects will be found using the MLS in New Tampa, so it is important to know what other resources are available and will be used to find a tenant for your home.