According to a recent report by real estate website Zillow.com, South Florida “Mom-and-Pop” landlords are cashing in on a recovering and hot rental market, and making substantial returns on their rental properties. “Mom-and-Pop” landlords are considered property owners who own just one property, and renting is not their primary or full-time business.
This comes at time when the rental market is beginning to not only improve, but thrive, following the subprime mortgage crisis and economic downturn between 2007 and 2009. At that time, thousands of South Florida homeowners became landlords, and they are now beginning to reap the benefits. Many are in a better financial position than they originally thought possible.
This reflects a shift in the American housing and rental markets. Demand for rentals has significantly increased post recession, as many are attracted to the benefits and conveniences of renting, including flexibility. For example, most tenants sign a lease — a legal,binding contract that means the tenant is responsible for paying rent for an apartment for a certain amount of time, typically six months, one year, or even month-to-month. This is especially appealing to those who are relocating, or those who aren’t quite ready to commit to the longevity of a mortgage.
Many people find renting to be more cost-effective for their financial needs. Some have even sold their homes in favor of renting an apartment following the housing market collapse. Additionally, renting allows tenants to enjoy all the benefits and comfort of living in a home, without the responsibilities of owning a property, which makes rentals especially appealing to both workers and retirees alike.
Property managers and developers are also feeling the positive effects of a recovering housing and rental market, as more and more young professionals are leaving the nest. The construction boom is mostly taking place in metropolitan areas across the country, where renting is commonplace.
Home ownership, along with a white picket fence, has long been synonymous with achieving the fabled “American Dream”, however, this ideal is fading as home ownership rates are declining nationally. In fact, the percent of homeowners in the first quarter of this year was nearly 65%, the lowest it’s been since 1995, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
In lieu of declining home ownership rates, perhaps it’s time for Americans to reinvent and redefine the American Dream, as well was what makes a home. It’s often said that home is where the heart is. Perhaps The Jeffersons had it right, and home just might be that deluxe apartment in the sky.