Q: I heard the rental market is good in Northeast Philly but I have been trying to rent out my empty house for more than five months. I am asking a little more than the other rents, but mine really is much nicer than the others I have seen and I want to cover my $1,000 mortgage and make some money. Do you think $1,500 is too much for a three-bedroom home in Millbrook?
A: The rental market is very strong right now. Rent prices have been steadily increasing and there are not many properties for rent out there because they’re in high demand. With the number of distressed home sales in the area, people are leaving their homes and looking for rental situations.
Rental market numbers aren’t easy for me to track since many people will try to rent it out themselves with the help of a real estate agent. In the Realtor Multiple Listing Service (TReND), several homes in your area have rented ranging from $700 to $1,250 in price.
In 19154, the only other three-bedroom home for rent in TReND is going for $1,350 and hasn’t been rented yet. So $1,500 might be a little high even for a nicer property. You could try to stick it out and wait for someone to bite, but if people are moving because they can’t afford their mortgage anymore, they probably won’t able to afford a high rent either.
Since your property is empty, you are already losing a mortgage payment each month. If your mortgage is only $1,000, you’ve already wasted $5,000 waiting for a renter to pay your price. If you’d rented it for $1,200 from the beginning, instead of trying to make the extra $3,600, you’d be ahead by now.
Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.