My Dwelling: Short time-to-rent entices many homeowners to become accidental landlords

Media Contact: Cindy Kazan: 414-559-0745;

Many homeowners are trying to figure out how they can weather the economic storm despite being unable to sell their homes or having to sell them at drastically reduced prices. Some have relocated for a job and can’t sell their houses. Some have moved, but are holding on to their previous homes, hoping for the market to rebound before selling. Others have inherited homes upon the death of a loved one and are waiting for prices to rise before they sell.

Many of these homeowners are opting to ride out the turbulent market by converting their homes into rental properties. While there is little hard data indicating how many homeowners are renting out their homes, anecdotal evidence suggests numbers are up.

“Since we launched My Dwelling in 2005, we’ve seen our client base increase by 750%, clearly indicating that the population of what we call ‘accidental landlords’ is on a dramatic upswing,” says Chris Muellenbach, CEO of My Dwelling, LLC, a residential real estate matchmaker that connects landlords and renters. “More people are realizing that renting their home is a viable option because it helps them cover mortgage, taxes and insurance payments.”

Another incentive for would-be landlords is the short “time to rent” — meaning they can start generating income to cover their costs relatively quickly. According to Muellenbach, well-priced one-two bedroom condos take on average 17.5 days to rent; single family homes average 45 days. “The shorter the time to rent, the faster a homeowner’s fixed costs are covered.”

For owners considering renting their homes, Muellenbach offers these tips:

* Check with your co-op, condo or homeowners’ association about rules regarding renting out a unit.
* If you want to refinance the mortgage, do so before getting out the house, as not occupying the home may adversely affect your ability to do so.
* Calculate your monthly expenses including mortgage payment, property taxes, insurance, etc., and see if you can charge enough rent to cover them, but remember expenses like repairs and maintenance are deductible against income.
* Check with your homeowner’s insurance agent about converting to a rental housing policy.
* Check with state and local authorities for landlord-tenant and fair housing laws.
* Decide if you want to do the maintenance yourself or if you’d like to retain a property management company.

About My Dwelling: Simply put, My Dwelling ( helps landlords find qualified tenants. My Dwelling offers a complete suite of services that save you time and money by taking care of the entire leasing process – from advertising, showings, lease/application completion and background checks. A full service residential leasing agency, My Dwelling uses a blended of print, internet, media, corporate and university connections to generate a tenant pool that few others can match —- translating into maximum exposure for your properties. My Dwelling is the sister company of Home and Condo Management, LLC, ( which offers a full spectrum of property management and home monitoring services under one umbrella. Their services include monitoring furnaces and sump pumps, checking gutters for debris and leaves, clearing ice damming, fixing broken windows, and performing spring and fall clean-up, and more.

For additional insights, Muellenbach can be reached directly at 414-935-4500.