Not a day goes by that we don’t receive a call or talk to someone who’s frustrated by the rental situation in SW Florida.  Renter frustration mounting for several reasons.

Rents are sky high in SW Florida.  Many times, it’s less expensive to buy than to rent.  When you add back potential appreciation along with principal reduction, many renters realize they’re just throwing good money down the drain.

Renter Frustration Mounting

This past week was Uncle Sam day.  Renters miss out on nice tax deductions too on interest, and this time of year it bothers them.

The renter has no control over their home.  Many times, the owner decides to raise the rent, move back in, allow a family member to move back in, or sell the home.  This displaces the renter.  It’s not a fun place to be in when you can’t plan where you’ll be living next year.

Rental inventory is hard to find.  Your best bet is to call the agent who has the inventory, but how do you do that?  You can call an agent who has access to MLS.  Here’s the problem.  Many rentals are listed on MLS, but the compensation to an agent might be $50-$100.  That’s hardly worth an agent’s time and gas running a prospective tenant around town looking for a rental.  Add in the fact the tenant may not pass the landlord’s background check, credit report, or pet restrictions and you’ve got the potential for showing many more days.  Agents have bills to pay too and simply can’t work for free, or less.  These force renters to work with the listing agent of the rental.

Scams are rampant in Florida.  Many times, a tenant thinks they’re talking to the owner and they’re not.  It could be a scam.  If the rent seems like a great deal it might be a scam.  If they tell you to just drive by and send money to hold the unit if you like it, it’s probably a scam.

Renter Frustration Mounting

So what should a tenant do?  First, working with an agent to rent a property is probably safest.  If they are licensed and working for a broker there are some extra protections for you.

Check out large apartment complexes.  You may not like them, however there is little risk the owner will decide to sell next year.  They may jack your rent, but at least you can stay where you are if stability is important to you.

Check out your credit.  Good lenders can get you in touch with people who can help get derogatory credit off your report.  Late payments on credit cards and past due medical bills hurt the most but they don’t have to.  If you can get these cleaned off your report, you may be able to buy a house sooner than you think.  It all starts with a little planning.

We work with lenders who can help.  Buyers are simply amazed what can be done for them and they’re so grateful when we get them into a home they can call home.  They don’t have to worry about where they’ll be living next year.  Statistics show people who own their own home end up with a lot more financial freedom than those who rent.  Stop making your landlord rich.

The Right Lender

Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams 239-489-4042.  We’ll put you in touch with a lender that can either approve you or help you improve your credit.  Feel free to search the MLS www.LeeCountyOnline.com  You might find some homes that interest you.

We received a call this past week from an older couple who’s being displaced.  They want to find their forever rental.  Unfortunately, nobody can guarantee that.  We know they’re tired of moving and just want to rent one place.

Let us help.  Perhaps you can buy today.  If not, get help working on that credit.  Even if you never buy a home, better credit will lower the cost of borrowing on cars, credit cards, etc.  There’s no reason not to look into it.

Good luck and happy searching!

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Posted by Ellis Team – Keller Williams Realty Fort Myers & The Islands on Monday, February 23, 2015

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