More North Texans Become Landlords

It's a good time to become a first-time landlord. Just ask the growing number of North Texans buying homes just to rent them out.

In the aftermath of the mortgage crisis, it has become harder to get approved for a home loan. So people who cannot afford to buy are looking to lease. Those who can afford to buy could make some money renting out the home.

Realtors say homes for rent are not staying on the market for long, often leasing within weeks or even days.

The higher demand for rental properties is what got Dallas native John Eklof interested in the new venture of becoming a landlord. He bought a duplex a few months ago to rent out one unit and live in the other. His realtor did some calculations, so he's confident his new venture will be profitable.

Comparing July of this year to July of last year, there are 6 percent more rental units available in North Texas, according to the Multiple Listing Service. The average rent is up 4 percent, at $1,507 a month.

"The silver lining on the dark cloud of the housing problems is that it has gone up. And it looked like a good time to get involved in that," said Eklof.

"If you can get anything at 4 percent increase on whatever you own, that's a pretty good investment, return on investment," said Claire Krieger, Ebby Halliday realtor.

Krieger said in Dallas the hottest areas right now for sales and leasing are Park Cities, University Park, Oak Lawn and North Dallas.

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