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by Brett D. Furniss

Wow! Has it already been over five years already since the real estate market tanked? TARP, the “new normal”, bailouts, CDO’s, and toxic assets were all the rage back then. Home buyers disappeared, home sellers were really unhappy, and real estate prices dropped like a rock. Renters were deemed the smart folks, and landlords, not so much.

It was a tough time for most people as the economy soured and landlords were no different. Rental rates were relatively low, almost no one could get a mortgage to refinance, and people (landlords and tenants included) were losing their jobs.

This affected landlords in two ways. First, if they lost their job, they still had to pay for their home and their rental homes. And, secondly, if their tenant lost their job, they had to deal with that situation as well. The uncertainty made for tough times for all involved. Many landlords got out of the rental business either by choice or by economic necessity.

However, the times have changed in almost every way for the better now. The rewards for hanging in there the last five years seem to have arrived and I’m seriously wondering if we are entering into a golden age for landlords. Wait- What? Why would someone vested in real estate for his livelihood make such an outrageous claim? Well, let’s look at the facts on the ground:

1. Rental rates keep on rising. Love you, extra cash flow!

2. Mortgage rates have dropped even lower making leverage really cheap. Locking into low interest rates is fun!

So, higher rents coupled with lower mortgage costs equals bigger profits for landlords. Sweet!

3. Home prices are still low and seemed to have bottomed out. For landlords with cash, they can pick up rental homes on the cheap that will immediately cash flow and be primed for a quick equity build-up when the market recovers. There are undoubtedly still more sellers than buyers in the market.

4. The rental market is healthy and homes are filling quickly with higher quality tenants. Many great former homeowners who hit a rough spot are now clamoring to live in rental homes on the market today. They pay on time and maintain the homes extremely well. They know the drill and are great to work with!

5. Being that it seems that home prices have stabilized (and with inflation coming at some point in the near future), home prices will begin to work their way up again. So the landlords who have held on and been paying down their mortgages over the past five years, will be rewarded with equity (cash) in a liquid market.

So, as a landlord, you should be excited! Our time is now!

Brett Furniss is the President & Owner of BDF Realty (“Charlotte’s Most Innovative Property Management & Investment Company”), and Rent-To-Sell Realty (“When You Need a New Solution to Sell Your Home”) which specialize in rent-to-own (lease options) and rent-to-sell homes. You can contact him directly at [email protected]. For a FREE subscription to “Charlotte Property Management Weekly” visit

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