If you could live in a large, beautiful home without a mortgagefor only $500 a month, would you? Vacant Home Caretakers is a private company that matches vacant homes that are currently for sale with carefully screened “Home Managers” who pay a greatly reduced rental fee to live in the vacant home until it sells or is taken off the market. With the excess inventory for sale these days, this innovative business is booming. But, before you get too excited, there are a few requirements. Home Managers must be non-smokers, not have pets, and must stage the home with furniture that would look good in the home. Still, for dirt-cheap rent, it’s a pretty sweet concept.
The Home’s Exterior
This rental agreement boasts advantages for sellers and Home Managers:
- Homeowners’ insurance rates can climb heavily on a home that is vacant because of the high risk of vandalism, home repairs that need immediate attention, or squatters — folks that break in to a vacant home and “make it theirs.”
- A home that is staged and welcoming is always better in the eyes of the potential buyer than a house that is cold and empty. Staging a house also provides a “clean canvas” for a potential homeowner to envision themselves living in the home.
- The utilities are paid for by the Home Manager, relieving the homeowner of having to pay excessive heat and light bills for a home they do not currently live in.
- A luxury home can be rented for half the price it would normally cost to rent in any given market. So, if a home in a market normally rents for $1,000, a Home Manager would pay half that price, or $500.
- There is no lease period. This is ideal for folks that need a place for just a few months or for people who are waiting to find their perfect home to buy.
- It forces you to stay neat and tidy! The company asks you to keep the home in tip-top shape since real estate agents can pop in at any time to show the home.
Vacant Home Caretakers, a company that launched in 1979, has offices located in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and southern California. According to owner Susanne Carnevali, business has increased dramatically lately and with more homes sitting on the market for extended periods of time, her business is poised to benefit from this economic downturn.