Real NEastate: Can I rent a house for less than a year? [republished]

 Realtor Stacey McCarthy is off this week and will return next week with a new column. This installment of Real NEastate was originally published in August 2011.

Q: I sold my house in Castor Gardens and I’m moving to North Carolina for a job, but I will still be working here until January. I can’t afford to be saddled down with a year lease here and I have too much stuff to move into an apartment. Can I rent a house for five or six months? I have to be out of my home by the end of the month.

A: If it wasn’t such a good rental market it might be easier to find a short-term lease agreement for a house. Home rentals are in high demand right now and there are few available in the area. You might have to do some searching to find someone who will accept less-than-a-year lease but it’s not totally impossible. You should check with your realtor, newspaper listings or Craigslist for rentals and ask around.

Another approach that may work is to ask your realtor to float the idea out there to any home sellers, or their agents, who may be having a tough time trying to sell an empty home. A temporary arrangement may work well for someone who is having a hard time paying a mortgage on a home where he/she is not living.

It may behoove a frustrated home seller to rent out his/her home while it’s on the market. Or take the home off the market and just collect money from a five- or six-month rental before putting his/her home back on the market in time for the spring, when it’s traditionally a better market for sellers in this area.

You don’t have a lot of time to do this so you should also explore the possibility of moving your stuff to storage to widen your rental search.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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