Among one of the more interesting trends in the Grand Rapids real estate market is that fewer people are looking to buy their property—preferring instead to rent. Perhaps even more interesting is that many of these new-age renters are committing to their rental properties long-term—even up to 5 years or longer—rather than the standard 12-18 month rental terms.
Part of the reason for this new trend in the Grand Rapids area is that many corporations are opening glistening new facilities, attracting job applicants from all over the world, and appealing to new college grads who are looking to boost resumes and employment opportunities. Many millennials report that one reason they don’t want to buy property is that they don’t want to be tied down to a contract should new job opportunities arise. In short, they want the flexibility to go after the latest and greatest job opening when it crosses their doorstep.
“It’s a fascinating trend to watch,” says Mengel of Real Property Management Investment Solutions—a company which also does property management in Grand Rapids. “This is great news for property managers and investors as well. It means that they get high quality tenants who are willing to commit for a few years and when the property does turn over, there is a fresh pool of similar tenants waiting to take over. Quite honestly, I’ve not seen anything like it.”
There is a downside to the increase in rentals. There is also a slow, but steady increase in the price per square foot for rentals. At some point, Real Property Investment Solutions argues, it will become more profitable to buy than to rent. “When that happens, says, “we’ll probably see a pretty steep decline in rentals as well as rental prices, but who knows. If there is one thing I’ve learned with property management it’s that you can always be surprised by the way people purchase homes, besides, there will always be a need to rent.”
This means that there really is no better time for investors to snap up a few rental properties to call their own. And as prices begin to rise, both in buying and renting, locking in those rates now is a great investment plan.
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