By Dayv Morgan
The heat is rising for renters who are navigating fewer options among ever-increasing prices in the city this year.
Investors are selling their rental properties to cash out on their equity. Canadian landlords are also benefiting from the local market by getting about an extra 25 percent return, thanks to the currency exchange rate.
These factors have helped create the decreased supply Maricopa has seen in recent years.
Through mid-May, only 23 listings were available to renters. All but one had been on the market less than 30 days.
Last year at this time, some homes were renting for $900. Today, no listings go for less than $1,100; and only three homes were available for less than $1,200 per month.
In a competitive market, landlords often get more than one application and can be more restrictive on their terms, like not allowing pets.
Tenants with less-than-perfect credit can increase their chances of getting approved by including with their application a referral from current and previous landlords. They could also offer to pay a higher security deposit – which, by state law, cannot exceed 1.5 times the monthly rent amount.
Buyers should be wary of advertised rentals on Craigslist or other classified websites that seem too good to be true.
In most cases, there is no cost for using a Realtor, and they can help make sure the home is not in foreclosure and that a legitimate lease is signed.
As rent prices go up, renters may want to consider buying, because payments will be about the same. A $160,000 home can be owned for less than $1,200 per month.
Here is an estimated monthly payment breakdown at 4.75 percent interest for a Federal Housing Association Loan:
$819 Principal Interest
$108 Mortgage insurance
$125 Property taxes
$60 Home insurance
There are several mortgage companies in Maricopa that a potential buyer can sit down with for a free no-obligation credit evaluation.
Dayv Morgan is a Maricopa Realtor and owner of HomeSmart Success.
This column appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.