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Thread: Who can afford the rent?

  1. #1
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    Who can afford the rent?

    I remember when you could get a decent apt. For $200 a month ( back in the old days).
    Well, I just finished renovating a 2 bdrm. 2 bath apt .with all new stainless appliances, antique pine floors and built a deck out back. The place even has off street parking for 2 cars.
    So the wife turns it over to a property mgr. because we're tired of dealing.directly with tenants. The place is on the MLS for $2100 per month. I'm not complaining, just shocked. Who can afford the current market? No wonder home ownership is down.
    Last edited by rbruner; 11-13-2017 at 10:59 AM.

  2. #2
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    Rents aren't that high,here in the middle of Illinois. but I was shocked when I found out my son is getting over $700 per month for his old small,2 bedroom house!

    2k a month sounds like legal robbery,to someone like me that lived on less than 2k income per month for most of my life!
    Last edited by 52hawk; 11-13-2017 at 11:49 AM.
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  3. #3
    President Member Commander Eddie's Avatar
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    And a big part of why there are so many homeless now. The homeless population is exploding here in the Northwest because of the cost of housing. Most of the price hikes here are solely due to greed. The housing market was tight so the owners started hiking up the rent. Just because they could. Without rent control these folks just go bonkers. They're all making huge profits. I hope, like you, they plow some of that money back in to maintenance and improvements.
    Ed Sallia
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    Speedster Member voxnut's Avatar
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    Same thing is going on here in Sacramento, CA. For the longest time we were just considered a cow town and a gas stop on the way to Tahoe by the SF Bay Area, but now that that area is overcrowded, they are cashing out and moving here and housing costs are quickly becoming out of reach for the folks who live and work here. Old buildings are being torn down to build hi-rise "artist lofts" and townhouses, but those are also priced at the high end of the market.

    While this pales compared to just the simple fact of trying to get by, I am sure this will be a contributing factor to the shrinking of the old car hobby and other similar hobbies (at least in densely populated areas) that require disposable income and space. Unless you're already established, you are not going to have much of either.
    Dean Seavers
    Sacramento, CA

  5. #5
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    Other side of the coin. I've owned a small two bedroom house, in a nice part of West Seattle, for 43 years. The house is about 110 years old, and still structurally sound. It was my first house, but it's been a rental for about 35 years. Until recently the house filled the need for people who couldn't afford the life style of living in a single family house in that area. I had one single lady rent from me for over six years, another for over three years. The last two renters have been a disaster, and the house has been vacant, for some time, because of it.

    I would like to keep the house, rent it and pass it on when I'm gone. Here's the rub, every time I get ready to go ahead and do the work that I think would be necessary to rent it, the city of Seattle looms it's ugly head. They know that it has been a rental in the past, and city has become a watch dog, and advocate for the renters in their boundaries. So I get notice that I need to schedule an appointment for an inspection at the cost, to me, of about $250. So then they can tell me what I need to do to bring my old house up to their standards. I am scared to death at the prospect of the whole process!

    As a renter's advocate, the city has also become an advocate for the type of renter that should live in my house. I am no longer able to properly screen my perspective renters. I am obligated to take the first renter, regardless of background, who shows up and wants to rent. The landlord, can't even use a credit report to screen a prospective renter. If a landlord ignores the queue, he can be sued by the offended party, to the tune of, up to, $75K! There are several suites pending right now. Also if a tenant says that he believes that the landlord has broken the rental agreement, he can sue the landlord for, up to, three times the amount of damages.

    This at a time that the city is crying for affordable housing. This has even gotten to the point that the city has threatened to tax, or sue people who buy, and fail to occupy their house or condo. This is basically aimed at Chinese nationals, that have bought as an investment, or who plan to move themselves, or their children into them, when they are able. What's next! So you think that you want to be a landlord! It may seem like a rental mgt. company is the answer, but if something goes wrong it is still on the landlord.

  6. #6
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    Hallabutt,
    Sounds like Seattle may become another Detroit someday, maybe sooner than later.

  7. #7
    Golden Hawk Member Dick Steinkamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hallabutt View Post
    I am no longer able to properly screen my perspective renters. I am obligated to take the first renter, regardless of background, who shows up and wants to rent. The landlord, can't even use a credit report to screen a prospective renter.

    In Seattle, the landlord is able to set a "minimum threshold" for criteria that a prospective tenant must have in order to apply...

    The “minimum threshold” for criteria means the minimum qualification for each criterion that a tenant must have to qualify for housing – for example, if a landlord prefers a tenant to have a credit score of 650, but will accept a tenant with a score of 600. The minimum threshold for the criteria is 600. If a landlord will not accept a tenant with an eviction on their record for the past three years, the minimum threshold for criteria is “No record of eviction for past three years.”

    https://www.seattle.gov/Documents/De...AL_1-12-17.pdf

    I'm a landlord also (in Bellingham). The building is 57 years old. I like the "first come, first served" type of law. The first prospective renter that meets my criteria gets the unit. The unit rents fast to a motivated tenant. I'm not sure what the downside is.

    I also like inspections. We pay a flat rate every year to the city to register our rentals then have random inspections every several years unless there is a tenant complaint (never had one). I want to rent safe, clean, complying units. It's the same thing the tenants want and the same thing the city wants. If I miss something that a tenant or inspector points out, I want to fix it.

    BTW, I LOVE West Seattle (as do most others)! Central, lively, diverse, walkable. If you are tired of being a landlord (understandable), your little 2 bedroom house is worth a fortune. Sell it, put it in the bank and pass the money on to your heirs. Just as we think our heirs will appreciate our old cars when we pass. They won't. They'll sell them. Same is generally true for any real estate we think they'll treasure.
    Dick Steinkamp
    Bellingham, WA

  8. #8
    President Member Jeff_H's Avatar
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    This thread made me curious about rents in this area (Fargo, ND). I moved here in 1996 and rented a 2br apt (since I wanted the 2 car garage) in a new building for I think it was ~$600/mo. I was the 1st tenant in that unit. The next year I bought the house I have been in since and haven't paid any attention to the rental rates around. There are ALWAYS new 40 unit apt buildings going up in the areas under development along with twin homes and town houses. The pecking order seems to be the apts or twin homes closer to the major street or highway and then single family houses on tiny lots, grading up to larger homes on larger lots near the river or golf course.

    Any rate, seems like to rent a similar 2br apt with a 2 car garage in a similar 40 unit like I was in 21yrs ago now runs around $900/mo although one with more sq footage could be up to around $1200/mo.

    Seems to be about 150%-200% increase in 20yrs. Compared to the inflation calculator that is not real out of line.

    But, this area is likely not typical of everywhere as I don't see any housing shortages around here! I know that a few years ago when the oil fracking boom was going on in western ND there was a severe shortage and folks living in motels making travelers unable to find accommodations on their way through.

    Another snippet I know of....

    Back in 2011 the owners of my maternal grandparents old farm house tore it down, leveled the entire site and planted crops there. You would never know where it was if you were not familiar with what was there before.

    After grandpa died in '98, grandma sold the property and moved to a senior apt place in town. New owners rented out the house for several years but the hassles of it were too much compared to what rent they could get vs how much income from raising crops on the same parcel of land. This place was on a paved road abt 1/2 way between 2 small towns so not totally off the path but still too far from anywhere. At the time I did some back of envelope calculations on what they could likely rent it for vs how much income from raising corn on that building site parcel (corn price was high at that time, since less) and it was a wash. But, no tenant hassles and maintenance, etc.

    Not a uncommon thing in that part of rural Minnesota. Its actually difficult to find anyplace to rent so a chicken and egg problem for anyone thinking of moving to those areas but not sure about buying right away.

    Jeff in ND

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    Check this out in Greater Vancouver British Columbia.


    RENT IN VANCOUVER
    VANCOUVER SEARCH LINKS # OF LISTINGS AVG PRICE
    Vancouver Rentals 109 $2,146
    Apartments 100 $2,064
    Basements 1 $2,500
    Condos 7 $2,971
    Townhouses 1 $4,200
    Vancouver Area
    COMMUNITIES
    COMMUNITIES SEARCH LINKS # OF LISTINGS AVG PRICE
    Abbotsford 40 $845
    Burnaby 16 $1,591
    Coquitlam 9 $1,568
    Esquimalt 2 $1,103
    Langford 1 $1,600
    Langley 7 $1,433
    Maple Ridge 2 $1,598
    Nanaimo 31 $1,249
    New Westminster 26 $1,306
    North Vancouver 20 $2,465
    Port Moody 3 $1,608
    Richmond 10 $2,209
    Saanich 1 $1,365
    Surrey 35 $1,241
    Vancouver 109 $2,146
    Victoria 38 $1,397
    West Vancouver 8 $2,194
    White Rock 1 $600



  10. #10
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    In 1968 the rent for our first apt, a new and nice 2br, 1 bath was $160

    Inflation adjusted to 2017 that would now be $1157.

    In 1970 we bought a nearly new 3 br, 1.5 bath house w/attached garage in a good neighborhood for $29K..Inflation adjusted to 2017 that would now be $189K. That year I was making $15K, which would now be $98K.

    Soda pop was ten cents, decent new tires were $22 and haircuts were two bucks

  11. #11
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    Dick,

    Thanks for providing addition background on rental screening. After renting the place for many years, without any problem, striking out on the last two has made me a bit skittish. I still am faced with the fickleness of the city of Seattle. What most of my former renters have seen as character, in my 110 year old house, the rental authority sees just as old and obsolete. As a matter of fact the vast majority of the time, the attitude of a perspective renter is one of the most important factors for my evaluation of their long term interest. I want a perspective renter to be drawn to some of the same features that I fell in love with 44 years ago. By the same token, I want a perspective renter to be critical of those things that they don't like.

    It could easily be argued, that sentimentality has no place in the rental business. To this I plead guilty, but it doesn't change the fact that I don't want to see the house torn down. The progressive attitude by the city fathers make history, character and the traditional neighborhood, take a back seat to up-zoning and density. Please excuse my whimsy, never thought that I would be talking like this, about our beautiful city.

  12. #12
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    We went to a neighborhood meeting Monday to listen to a developer's plans for the corner of our street. They plan to demolish Starbucks & build a 100 room time share run by Hilton Hotels. A studio buy in price is 45k for one week a year. There will be parking for 80 cars but the nearby garages are booked for the year for any overflow.
    If the unit is not occupied Hilton will rent the apt. to the public at market price which is currently around $300 a night.

  13. #13
    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hallabutt View Post
    I want a perspective renter to be drawn to some of the same features that I fell in love with 44 years ago.

    It could easily be argued, that sentimentality has no place in the rental business.
    It is almost impossible to get emotionally attached to something that doesn't belong to you no matter how 'charming' it may be.

    Craig

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    Chief Cat Herder showbizkid's Avatar
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    In southern California it's pretty bad. Heck, in ALL of California. Unless you want to live in the desert Which is fine if you can take it. But anything in a temperate clime and in a moderately populated area (the two are synonymous) is outrageous. Recently a 500-sq. ft. apartment in San Francisco went for $1.1 million. Zillow tells me that my 1,680 sq. ft. home, built in 1960, could bring me $2,500/mo. were I to rent it out.

    And yes, I too see a direct correlation between the homeless explosion and the skyrocketing cost of housing. I know that there are plenty of places other than the coasts which are not so densely populated where rents are low - but so is employment. It's a Catch-22, and seems only to be getting worse.
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    [QUOTE=showbizkid;1082807]In southern California it's pretty bad. Heck, in ALL of California. ... /QUOTE]

    I live in a So.Cal. city that often hits the top three for safest cities in the USA for a population over 100,000. It is reasonably affluent, but no Beverly Hills. I live in what I call the "ghetto" of this nice city. The 950 Sq. Ft. homes were the first tract builds in the area and at 3Br. 1Ba. sold for about $12,000 in the late 50's. Unfortunately the area had expansive soil and the builder used NO Re-Bar! When the slabs cracked some people were leaving the keys on the window sills and walking away.

    Today maybe that wasn't the best idea. These homes (still with cracked slabs) and the stock 950 Sq. Ft. size sell in the $550,000 range and are renting for well over $2,500 a month. One of the results of these high rents is that people are renting these places and then subletting space. And I do mean "space." There was a time when one home had 22 people living (more likely existing) in it. The home across the street from me was sold by the husband/wife (fireman/nurse, - likely $200,000 a year combined income) to a immigrant gardener (likely a $30,000 income - if he was fortunate) for $660,000. This of course was the sub-prime period where anyone could get a loan. He then packed in 16 people and the whole neighborhood suffered for it. It was only a balloon payment foreclosure that ended the unfortunate episode.

    To me there is a real "blind side" when home values and rents shoot up. People in my city are affluent enough to want their pool cleaners, gardeners, food servers, maids and all the other things that make life convenient. But these people need a place to live and their income doesn't come close to living as a "single family home." It puts neighborhoods like I live at in jeopardy. Thankfully if anything came out of the sub-prime crash it was that it drove undesirable conditions out of the neighborhood. It also bought a stronger income base because families were now wise enough not to overextend themselves trying to "keep up with the Jones's."
    Last edited by wittsend; 11-16-2017 at 01:22 PM.
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    Admin please delete. It accidentally re-posted when I tried to get the "Quote" to post correctly (not sure why it's not???). Thank You.
    '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-69 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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    President Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    The county I live in is adjacent to one of the more affluent counties in the nation and it borders Washington, DC. It has many high earning people who work in and around DC. That county is also one of the highest taxed counties in the country. For some years now there's been a big influx of people from that county to this one with its lower tax base. These transplants like the lower taxes but want all the amenities and services they're accustomed to.

    What's happening is that, along with the demands of these transplants for county services and increased development those who have lived here most or all of their lives are getting taxed out of existence. I guess it's what's referred to as progress.
    Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

  18. #18
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    When I see posts like these, once again I am glad to live in a city reputed to have some of the lowest real estate prices in Canada for any given quality of home.

    I am well familiar with the costs Buzzard mentions. One of our daughters paid close to $1,300/month for a tiny, but decent, bachelor apartment in Vancouver. She has just moved to Duncan BC where she is paying slightly more than that for a "granny suite" in a recently-built private home.
    Bill Jarvis

  19. #19
    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
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    In my little town, they are building 6 story condos and apartments as quickly as they can. The studios go for $2750 and the one bedrooms for $3000. Glad I bought my house.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

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