I ran across this article on The Wall Street Journal Online website today.
This one hit close to home for me. My daughter and her husband purchased a home about 2 years ago. They took advantage of the government tax credit, which specifically targeted first-time homebuyers.
Three months ago, they moved out of state so my son-in-law could go to school at a very good university. The opportunity was too good to pass up.
This is their dilemma: They can't sell their house because the market value has dropped since they purchased. Home values continued to decline even with the government's efforts to stimulate the housing market. They must rent the home (their first one) and because it is now a rental, they must return money to the government. My kids did not buy this house with the intention of becoming landlords - it just happened.
The author of this article mentioned two specific factors to consider stability of life and financial readiness. I agree with both accounts (though it is often tough to predict the future status of these factors).
But, I also see that the government, in an effort to resolve issues with the housing market have potentially created new ones. The first-time homebuyer whose life was not stable and/or financially ready for homeownership. They've had to move due to a job change (or other life change) or their employer has been impacted by the economy and as a result they are unemployed or had to take a lesser paying job.
As property managers, how are you dealing with the inexperienced home owner turned landlord? Have you seen an increase in first-time homebuyers / landlords?
Many will find problems with trying to manage it themselves on top of what their 40 work weeks, family, and friends is difficult. At first it only sounds like collecting the rent and thats it. A good property manager will collect rent, background checks, move-in's, move-outs, conduct inspections, maintenance calls, etc. The first time homebuyer will not always know where to turn for help. Using of a property manager will lessen the weight of trying to handle this on their own.