Home Front

A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

July 7, 2008
The tradeoff: skyrocketing sales vs. a region awash in rentals
BigRedQuestionMark_op.jpgI confess I still don't know the answer to this. It's more of a concept that has been swirling around in my head as I think about this region's explosion of sales - especially in Sacramento County. In journalism the most interesting thing is to always to find out what's being born.
So what is being born? I have had moments when I think it's neighborhood stability. I've seen it a couple of times in my own neighborhood in Elk Grove: a pot house is suddenly bought by a young couple. The day they move in there are a couple of families helping them. That is stability.

 If it happens often enough I think it adds up to community and a stronger neighborhood, then a stronger city. That's what you get when - one house at a time - a well-qualified owner with a 30-year fixed loan replaces one who couldn't afford the tricky mortgage they got for one reason or another.

So that's one theory.

The other is that many of these homes are being snapped up by investors with the idea of renting them out. So what does that mean? Does it means that an improving  sales market is actually creating even more destabilized neighborhoods?
Sunday, on the  KFBK Real Estate show, Scott Thompson, partner at Mortgage Resolution Services in Citrus Heights, said not to worry too much. He said landlords in this market can be choosy, can screen and that many renters are people who moved here from another state or some reason and make excellent neighbors.

Well, this is all a windy way of saying that the Rental Housing Association of the Sacramento Valley has been hearing some of these same questions from city officials around the region. Some cities are wondering if a huge investor class coming into to swoop up foreclosure properties will be a benefit in the long run for their neighborhoods.

With some of this in mind, the association - which represents a lot of property managers who  handle rents in houses (not apartment complexes so much) has decided to put on a seminar for investors. The aim is to give those who think they can get rich buying rental properties a proper view of what being a landlord means.

Enough said: here is the program, Saturday, July 19 at the Sacramento Hilton, 2200 Harvard St.
Image: courtesy of wabashfirstumc.org

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