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Determining Your Rental Value
By Dr. Danielle Babb

Dr Dani Babb

When you go to rent your home, you will need to determine its rental value, or rental comp. Rental comps are the comparative analyses for similar properties and what they’re renting out for. If you see “for rent” signs, feel free to call and just inquire on the property – or use online systems.

Rental comps are like sales comps but they tell you the value of your property in terms of what it can rent for. Take a look at these two sites, or check local newspapers. You may also wish to call a property manager, but if you aren’t using them to list and manage your home they may not be very cooperative in valuing your rental.

www.rent-o-meter.com – This site is pure genius. It is based on user-entered information rather than professionally entered information. Renters use it to tell others what they are paying and what their accommodations are like; bedrooms, bathrooms, quality, zip code, amenities, etc. Potential renters can look here to see if they’re getting a good deal. But, better yet for you as a potential landlord, you can see what others are pricing at and rather than guessing at a rental price, you can see what others are going for.

www.craigslist.org – Craig’s List, widely known as the large online garage sale, is only available in limited areas but is rapidly growing. Do searches in your state and community and see what others are renting homes out for. This will give you an idea as to what you can get in a rental market (and for a sale market too! Many homeowners are opting to list their homes on Craig’s List in addition to more traditional means).

You can also do a search in Google for “rent ” and see what rents are going for in that zip code.

Check out the Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Market Rent System also. This is a good link to use:
http://www.huduser.org/datasets/fmr/fmrs/index.asp?data=fmr08 It will show the standard rent and then a multiplier by state and county, as well as consumer price index updates, information by the number of bedrooms, and compares it to other surrounding areas too.


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