When J and I met we had both just purchased our own condos. In the same building no less. So when the time came to move in together we had to make a choice, as most couples do, whether to move into mine or hers. After a trial run where we lived for a month in hers, then a month in mine, and after weighing all the pros and cons we chose. Mine. But the question of what to do with hers remained. Should she sell? Well that seems hasty. What if the relationship doesn't work out? That leaves someone (yeah, probably not me) homeless. Leaving it empty seemed silly. Why pay a mortgage, property taxes and maintenance fees on an empty dwelling? There appeared but one obvious solution. We would rent it out. We live in a large city, in the downtown core. We figured that renting it out would be a breeze. So we did the usual, putting up a sign in the laundry room, posting to social media and telling all our friends. Within weeks we had it rented out. Yeah baby, we were landlords!
In the years that followed we have had four different tenants. The reason for the high turnover was that we were offering it furnished and we found that only short-term renters were interested in this set-up. So last year we got rid of all the furniture and rented it out unfurnished. Again, within weeks we found a long-term tenant. Or so we thought. After only one year they have given notice. Their reasoning? They need more space. They have rented a six-bedroom house instead. Yes you read that right. Six. Bedrooms. No, it is not a family of eight. It is a couple. Of two. I will save my rant about rampant consumerism for another post.
The search is on for a new tenant. Ironically, as I was typing this, I got a call about the unit from a prospective tenant. Which turned out to be just someone from the building fishing.
It's not going as well this time around. We listed it 15 days ago and have only had one showing so far. And it's been 13 days since we've had any response at all to any of our ads. This is unusual for us. The place practically rented itself out in the past. Personally, I think the problem is that we are over-priced for the age of the unit. A casual perusal of the online listings shows me newer units, closer to the financial district for less than what we are asking. A lot of these places have never been lived in. So everything is shiny and new. We can't really compete with that.
We have a showing booked for this weekend. If they don't show up (which happens more often than you might think) our game plan is to contact a real estate agent. We've hesitated to go this route in the past because we have heard that the fee is one month's rent. That's astronomical! But the market in this city, both for buying and renting is just plain crazy! We have also heard that using an agent can, much like for selling a property, generate a lot of interest and, I can't even believe this, bidding wars! For a rental!
We haven't decided yet how the Rental Unit fits into the long-term plan. We just renewed on a 5-year term so we're holding onto it for at least that long. We'll re-evaluate at renewal time. Though, with the way the buying and selling market is going right now, that could change.