Housing Supply Pains- Renters Are Feeling Them Too

Housing Supply Pains- Renters Are Feeling Them Too

Rental rates are rising, inventory is shrinking, and tenants are becoming more desperate to find a place than ever before. Bidding wars and multiple applications have become the norm. What’s more, all of those rental applications come with a fee, and some tenants are spending almost an entire month’s rent on application fees just trying to find their next home. 


At Eaton Realty, our Property Management Team and REALTORs work with hundreds of tenants on average each year. In the last 18 months, we’ve seen that number skyrocket into the thousands. We see every type of tenant-  the first-time renter, those relocating from out of state, tenants concerned about increasing rental rates, and sellers whose homes sold faster than expected. Here’s what we suggest to ease the way: 


Give Yourself More Time


Rentals in Tampa Bay usually require a 60-day vacating notice. Before inventory became tight, most renters started hunting for their next place about 15 days before that notice period, or about 75 days before their lease expired. That’s not going to work in today’s rental market. In fact, waiting until to start your home search that close to your notice date will leave you feeling rushed into a decision. We suggest starting your rental search about 30 days sooner or around 3.5 months before your lease expires. This way, you can have an accurate idea of market conditions to make an informed decision. By allowing more time, you may even be in a position to start a new lease a few weeks before your old one expires, giving you time to relax and move your belongings at your own pace. 


Stay Put


If you follow our advice above and allow for more time, you may soon discover that it’s in your best interest to stay where you are. Weigh any rent increases against the costs of moving. A comparable home will be priced for the market, making it similar to your renewal rate. Set that cost aside and instead add up the cost of application fees, pet fees, HOA application fees, and security deposits. From there, factor in the cost of actually moving into your new place. Boxes, moving trucks, and utility fees all add up and are often unaccounted for. Combine these costs, divide that number up over the course of the new lease term, and then add the result to the monthly rental rate of the home you’ve had your eye on. If that number is close or higher, the energy of moving may not be worth it, and waiting out the supply crunch might be better for you. 


Consider Buying


Inventory is tight across all areas of real estate. If you’re going to be house hunting, why not add homes for sale to your tour list? You’ll be surprised just how much mortgage you can afford based on your rent payment. With low-interest rates and homebuyer assistance programs, buying a home might be a better fit for you. You could even end up saving money each month, all while growing your equity in the long term.


No matter your real estate needs, our agents are here to help. From collaborating with the Property Management Team to navigating the application process, they are well versed in the renting and buying processes. Contact us today and let’s create your success plan.