Turning Renters into Homeowners
By Sharon Tremor of Meyers Realty in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Sharon is an associate broker who has been selling homes since 1994. Sharon serves on the Board of Directors for Hot Springs Board of Realtors, the local ARPAC committee, state committee for Risk Reduction and Legislative Committee. She is Vice President of Park Avenue Community Association and on the David F. Watkins Memorial Park committee as founding member where she assisted in getting a grant this year to build a butterfly garden in Uptown Hot Springs, AR. She has her CRS and EPRO designations and combines her love for her community and people with her passion for real estate which provides her the perfect career choice.
Renters are an overlooked niche market that I recognize personally, and market to, consistently. If you have a market area with both a need and an influx of lower end “rental” type property, it is viable to convert many of the non-owner occupied homes into owner occupied property that is not subject to the same transitional status.
With home-ownership the buyer can have a lower payment than their rental payment, enabling upward mobility in society, and pride in ownership. Neighbors benefit from this as well, by not having to be subject to a greater chance of vacancies and neglect. Over the years, we’ve had calls come in to the Real Estate offices asking for rental house information, and we consistently reply that we are a ‘Sales Office’ and do not handle rentals. The times I have slowed it down, turned off the robotics, and asked pointed questions, I have often had success in getting the caller qualified to purchase. In some circumstances, the sellers carry the note since the rent is income and taxed as such, and the note payment is treated differently. It can be a win-win for both buyer and seller. Utilizing First Time Buyer loan programs like ADDY, FHA, MCC, and RD, are all great tools, considering a first-time buyer program refers to anyone who has not owned Real Estate in the past three years. Affiliating with lenders who know and use these programs is vital. Most cities offer First Time Buyer seminars where information on these programs can be attained. You can also contact the Little Rock office directly for both information and to apply for the loan directly if the consumer wishes.
Tracking for my own business has shown positive results with my clients remaining in the homes, and/or reselling and purchasing “move-up” housing. Through this process I have satisfied my own passion for home ownership and being a responsible landlord. I have broadened both my past client contacts as well my sphere of influence and contacts through of the people involved that you meet along the way. Niche Marketing has been around forever and is very effective. This is a segment of the market who are true first-time buyers and those affected by the downturn in the market and just getting past the impact of the housing crash and ready to buy again. Sharing information about our historically low interest rates gives a starting point to kiss the landlord goodbye!
House to House is distributed weekly by the Arkansas REALTORS® Association. For more information on homeownership in Arkansas, readers may visit www.ArkansasRealtors.com.