Markets in everything: home tending

by on March 11, 2009 at 2:03 pm in Economics | Permalink

CW McCullagh sends me this:

Home tending is the practice of allowing someone to live in a home
while it's for sale. Real estate experts say this strategy helps sell homes a
lot faster than vacant homes. It's also a great way for some Houstonians during
these tough times to stretch their dollar.

The first house we saw had a gourmet kitchen, an elaborate chandelier
and a grand master bath. The asking price? Be ready to shell out $794,000.

"The house is mine, while I am here," said home tender Eurika

Coleman tends a River Oaks home. She pays $750 a month plus utilities.

"I am saving money, I am a recession sheik chick," laughed

Coleman started home tending about eight years ago and since then has
lived in lavish homes for a monthly fee.

1 Bernard Yomtov March 11, 2009 at 2:32 pm

I doubt this is new. Many years ago a friend was in the business of buying and renovating houses, and he routinely found people to live in them while they were for sale and otherwise unoccupied.

The houses weren’t lavish, and the only fee was free rent, but this reduces insurance costs substantially, among other things.

2 stanley fatmax March 11, 2009 at 2:39 pm

“recession sheik chick”

local news is awesome

3 Andrew Edwards March 11, 2009 at 3:36 pm

“Live in my house cheap until it sells” seems to me like a pretty bad case of misaligned incentives between the seller and tenant.

Tenant would want to leave something smelly in the basement and dent a wall and live on cheap rent indefinitely, I expect.

4 Anonymous March 11, 2009 at 4:05 pm

How is this any different, in the eyes of the law, from being a tenant? They are, after all, paying rent.

So what legal guarantees would the owner have if the home tender went rogue and refused to move out? In many jurisdictions, evictions are a long, difficult and expensive process.

5 ZBicyclist March 11, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Yes, this can be a sweet deal. There’s one on our block: she’s the church janitor, her husband is, I believe, a shift manager at McDonald’s. They are paying a modest rent and she has a short commute to work (across the street) until Ben sells the place, which he doesn’t figure to do soon.

I don’t know whether Ben has a formal agreement that she must leave on a moment’s notice, or it’s informal.

They are both happy. Some of the posters upthread are overthinking this.

6 bbartlog March 11, 2009 at 4:58 pm

You want a real sign of the times? I know a woman who was evicted, following a foreclosure on her home. But the market is so depressed that the bank isn’t trying to sell the house right now. So she asked her real estate agent what would happen if she quietly moved back in until such time as the bank actually wanted to move the place. And the agent told her ‘nothing, most likely’. So she’s squatting there until things change. As far as I can tell, no one has any real incentive to kick her out; if the place is vacant, it’ll get torn apart by midnight plumbers, so the bank even wins by having her there for now. As do her neighbors.

7 Matthew Ernest March 12, 2009 at 2:42 am

My real estate agent handling the sale of my father’s house advised me against having someone rent while it’s on the market. She said the houses tend to go for lower prices.

8 zumwinkel story March 12, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Raivo Pommer


Der Satz ist kryptisch: Liechtenstein akzeptiere die OECD-Standards für Transparenz und Informationsaustausch in Steuerfragen und unterstütze die internationalen Maßnahmen gegen die Nichteinhaltung von Steuergesetzen. So teilte es die Regierung des Fürstentums mit. Hinter diesem Satz verbirgt sich jedoch eine echte Revoulution: Liechtenstein beugt sich dem internationalen Druck – und hebt sein striktes Bankgeheimnis teilweise auf. Damit will das kleine Land sein Image von der unkooperativen Steueroase abstreifen.

Mit den USA hat das Fürstentum bereits ein Abkommen geschlossen, wonach Informationen in Steuerfragen ausgetauscht werden können. Es tritt 2010 in Kraft. Damit wird deutlich: Das Land wird sich im Kampf gegen die internationale Steuerflucht künftig nicht mehr auf das Bankgeheimnis berufen.

Seit Juni 2000 steht Liechtenstein auf der OECD-Liste der Steueroasen. Auf dieser schwarzen Liste zu finden sind derzeit auch Andorra und Monaco. Schärfster Kritiker des Liechtensteiner Bankgeheimnisses ist Deutschland. Denn viele Deutsche haben versucht, über den Umweg Liechtenstein dem deutschen Fiskus Steuergeld vorzuenthalten. Prominentester Steuersünder war der ehemalige Postchef Klaus Zumwinkel. Dieser wurde im Januar vom Landgericht Bochum wegen Steuerhinterziehung zu zwei Jahren Gefängnis auf Bewährung und einer Geldstrafe verurteilt.

9 blue June 9, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Home tending is so stupid and the biggest rip off.

10 SeekMeNot February 24, 2011 at 7:20 am

Actually talked with a friend of mine from refrigerator repair Washington DC about people and their homes… When it comes to such new strategies which seem quite logic in order to sell your house faster, people accept it… And it’s also beneficial for the buyer as well because he managed to observe the house with all the furniture and appliances on the spot…

11 Str8er February 25, 2011 at 9:32 am

This is a great idea.Don’t wonder it’s much more efficient than selling vacant homes.You let the people who want the house to get in touch with it.I work for Montreal Apartment rentals and I must tell them this idea.They will love it.

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