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Answering FAQ about Tri-Cities Home Rentals

By in Buyers with 0 Comments

Our local office now has a residential property management division, and I couldn’t be happier about it.  I frequently get calls from out-of-town investors who want to purchase a home here for investment purposes, and then rent it out.  My forte is selling residences to people who want to live here, and interact in our community and perhaps put down roots.  That’s not the investor’s goal. 

But, because I like to be well-informed, I have learned a few things about the rental market in the Tri-Cities anyway. 

Here goes…

  • quantity of rental units in the Tri-Cities ranges from 38%-52%.  Our property manager, Bryan Walsh, likes to be conservative, so he puts the numbers at closer to 45%
  • vacancy rates are between 4%-7%, but again, Mr. Conservative likes to put the number at close to 7%
  • most requested property is at least 1800 sq ft, 3 or 4 bedroom, 2+ baths, with a fenced yard
  • rental rates for the house described above can vary between $1100 and $1300 a month.  A newer home and that fenced yard are going to bring in a rent at a higher point of that range.  For townhouses or smaller homes, $800-$1000 is an acceptable range.
  • pet-friendly will increase the possible tenant base by a huge amount.  At least 90% of renters prefer pet-friendly locales. 
  • don’t expect a huge cash flow every month.  Most Tri-Cities rentals bring in only one or two hundred extra dollars monthly for the investor.

Interesting sidebar to the mortgage messes some people have found themselves in…more people than ever before are now used to living in a house.  If someone is foreclosed upon, they’re not going to want to go to an apartment.  They’re going to want a house again, even if they’re not owning it, it’s what they’re used to.  So, an investor would be wise to purchase a home for rental purposes, as opposed to a condo or townhome.

Home prices are still really reasonable here, so it’s definitely a worthwhile place to invest, if the numbers make sense for you. 

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About The Author
Cari McGee

My husband and I came to the Tri-Cities in 1994, and we thought it would be a temporary stop on our way to larger cities. He was a television sports anchor at the time, and we planned to go wherever the "next step up" took us. Twenty-plus years later, we're still here and we've loved every minute of it! We have two children now, and we've found the Tri-Cities area is a wonderful place to raise a family. It's a great place to do outdoorsy things -- I like to hike Badger Mountain or run along the river path. I also love reading ... by a cozy fire in the winter or a beautiful picture window in the summer (with the A/C on!). I've been a licensed Realtor since 2004. I earned my managing broker's license in 2016, which means I can run my own brokerage, or create a team of real estate agents and supervise them, which is exactly what I did when I formed the Cari McGee Real Estate Team in 2018! We have administrative and marketing personnel, as well as additional agents to serve you. I became a director of the Tri-Cities Association of Realtors Board of Directors in 2016, became Secretary/Treasurer of the organization, and was elected to Vice President in 2019. Want to talk about real estate? Click here to schedule a meeting with me!

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