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Be Careful When Looking for a Home or Condo to Rent

I had an interesting conversation with a good friend a few days ago.  She has been renting a condo from a mutual friend.  Her plan is to find a bigger place to rent, get a roommate and save some money to buy her own home.  I followed her thought process and wanted to do whatever I could to help her. 

There are lots of online resources for rentals in the Middle Tennessee area but she couldn't find the right place that would give her the space she needs, allow her to stay near her job and keep her daughter in a certain school.   She wanted me to look at houses that are available for sale and see if there were remarks in the listing that indicate the owners would consider renting the home.  After scouring the Nashville Area MLS, I came to a few conclusions. 

  • Most home owners with their home up for sale are not going to be overjoyed at the idea of renting their property.  They wouldn't have it on the market if they didn't intend to sell it.  It is possible we could come across someone who would be interested in renting out their home but chances are slim.  If it's not advertised as a rental, it probably isn't for rent!
  • Since these home owners want to sell, a lease purchase might be more appealing.  If a lease purchase was an option, it would limit the housing options in terms of size, features and location of homes.  When you are ready to buy, wouldn't it be nice to have a wide selection?  Often a lease purchase requires a sizeable deposit.  Depending on how the agreement is written, it could be a non-refundable deposit.  Knowing various aspects of my friend's situation, I know a lease-purchase is not her best option.
  • Several of the homes in her area of Nashville are short sales and pre-foreclosures.  There's no way these homes are going to be rental prospects!  That brings up a whole other issue.  Just because a tenant pays the rent doesn't mean that the landlord uses it to pay the mortgage.  I've heard a few stories of good rent paying tenants being kicked out of their home because the property ends up in foreclosure.  There is definitely piece of mind in knowing your landlord is actually paying the note.  You can rest assured that foreclosure is not on the horizon. 

I wasn't trying to be negative but this conversation did bring up several things that my friend hadn't thought about.  My point was this... she has a pretty sweet situation renting from someone she trusts.  I would love to see her save to buy a home but consider options carefully! 

My friend's goal is to buy a home before December 1st of this year so she can take advantage of the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.  If you'd like to find out more about this credit read my blog First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Chart & Government Links

Are you looking for some solid real estate advice?  Are you considering buying a home or condo?  To find out more about Nashville TN Real estate, visit www.TiffanyWhite.com or call Tiffany White with Keller Williams Realty at 615-260-5858.

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Comment balloon 1 commentTiffany White • April 09 2009 11:40PM

Comments

The idea of a lease purchase isn't all that popular with me. It puts both parties at risk, and the realtor get an opportunity to visit courtrooms.

Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) over 9 years ago

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