Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Home Tending Trend

A new trend apparently on the west coast is home tending. People with nice things living in vacant, for sale homes. The deal is the temporary occupants must furnish the property and have it show ready. For that they get a very reasonable monthly payment - up until the house sells. It is a free service to the sellers. Here is a clip from CBS Evening News with their story titled The Homeless Help Homeowners -

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The organization running the program is Designer Home Tending. We would imagine after the national exposure there will be a flood of applicants. And the screening for such a program is probably difficult. Interesting that in the video clip the mother acts like it is her home - but the single musician seems to acknowledge what a good, temporary deal he has.

Here is a snippet from the accompanying article titled A Unique Solution To The Housing Crisis. Let's take a look -

CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker reports that when real estate agent Cathy Cardenas saw so many vacant houses for sale or in foreclosure and so many people unable to afford a house in these hard times, she thought, why not put them together?


She screens people down on their luck, un- or under- employed, and places them in houses for sale by owners who've had to relocate. In Salt Lake City, Autumn Marler and her family now reside in a 4,000 square-foot house they couldn't otherwise afford.

Says Marler, "My husband lost his job recently and we lost our home for foreclosure. And basically I pay a very small amount of rent to live in a nice house and to furnish it with my things."

Cardenas says in today's cluttered market, empty houses just aren't selling well. That lived-in look has a competitive advantage.


The service is absolutely free to home sellers. The home tenders pay a nominal fee, from $500 to $1,000 a month depending on the city, plus utilities. They have to be tidy and prepared to move if the house sells.

In two years, Cardenas has gone from a start-up to more than 500 clients, and she's found doing good is good business.

We like the fact that the program allows for very low rents and reduces the number of vacant houses.

Services like this will probably spring up in more places.


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