Posts Tagged ‘vacancy’


With the passing of summer and going in to the Fall, buyer activity tends to slow down (as is seasonal).   School has started and many buyers who wanted to get in a home have settled down.

If you are a duplex buyer, this could mean a better time to buy:  there could be less competition and more motivated sellers (who missed the summer boat).  Typically there are less buyers in the September through December time periods.  Less buyers mean less chance for multiple offers and competition.  If you are looking to owner occupy  a duplex with one side vacant, a seller may be more flexible to get the property sold and avoid any prolonged vacancy.  Always find out how long a property has been on the market.

If you are an investor, keep in mind filling a vacancy may be harder going into the October through December time periods.  That does not mean there are no renters, just fewer are out there.  It may be advantageous to drop rent a little to fill the vacancy.  Consider allowing a 4 to 6 month lease to pull out of the Fall and Winter months.   Shorter term leases, by the way, can sometimes charge a premium rent and fill a niche in the market.

So, some good deals are out there if the timing fits your needs in the Fall!

Thanks for reading.


Hong and Dianne Lee

DuplexDianne.com Team


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After about 1 1/2 weeks of going round and round with Section 8 to petition for our asking rent, I gave up.  I sent Section 8 rental comps of $895, $925, and $875 for comparable 2 bedroom duplexes on Tyson Cove and they still would not approve our asking rent of $900.  These are all strong comparables and from the MLS no less.  We actually have a lease for $925 for a comparable 2 bedroom down the same street.  Asking $900 was reasonable and the Section 8 tenant who applied agrees too – saying she looked around a lot and couldn’t find a quality property for that rate.

The most Section 8 would approve is $860. It appears Section 8 is treating rentals equally when not all of them are.  Our property, for example, was formerly owner-occupied and had upgrades that most rentals do not, like better quality ceiling fans, faucets, and light fixtures. It also has a garage door opener (most Austin duplexes do not have them), new carpet, new wood vinyl plank floors, and new paint.

It took Section 8 over a week to get back to me regarding my rental comps and in the mean-time the tenant suffered and had a delayed inspection and move-in.  Slow communication with Section 8 seems to be the norm.   In the end we decided to accept the $860 approved rent and move-on, partly to get the tenant moved-in as she planned and partly to minimize any further vacancy.  The delay with Section 8 was no fault of the tenant’s.  I believe we could have waited another couple weeks and rented it on the open market for $900.


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