Real Estate News for North Pinellas County

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Will the federal government become the biggest landlord in Pinellas County?

Q: Who is the biggest single family home landlord in the nation?

A: According to the Wall Street Journal, it could soon be the federal government.

forrentWord has it that the Obama administration is thinking about developing a plan that would allow foreclosed single family homes to be rented out, thereby taking some of those foreclosed properties off the market and generating some income.

At the end of April, HUD owned about 69,000 homes; at the end of March, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac owned another 218,000 properties.

There’s nothing definite on this idea at this point. But Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress last week that the idea “is worth looking at.” He and others say that renting out the foreclosed homes could help cover the cost of holding the properties until markets stabilize; it might even provide some profits for HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

One downside is that those agencies would have to become giant rental agencies, a business that they don’t understand very well. A better solution might be to sell the foreclosed properties en masse to private investors who would agree to rent them out, and who would agree to contract with property management companies, who would handle the day-to-day management and tenant issues.

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