Foreclosure crisis boosts rental option

The foreclosure crisis has brought about more flexible options for renters.

The after-effects of the housing bubble aside, millions of Americans continue to cope with the recent recession. High unemployment and limited job opportunities are a couple of common struggles.

In McHenry County, increased property tax bills have added to the mix.

Some homeowners and their families are willing to rent out spare bedrooms to responsible boarders as a way to maximize savings. Throughout the county, families and individuals who own homes are offering to rent out rooms to boarders as long as they contribute with finances.

A listing of local Craigslist rental ads from mid-October included an ad from an Algonquin family who was renting the front half of their house. A Lakemoor woman’s ad was targeted toward another mother with small children, noting that the home would be the right fit for a single mother with a small child looking for a temporary place.

According to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey, the estimates of total housing inventory from 2000 to 2010 show that the number of housing units has been steadily growing.

While owner-occupied units saw steady growth starting from 2000, that trajectory ended in 2006. After 2006, just about the time when the housing bubble was about to burst, the number of owner-occupied units declined.

Starting with 75,596,000 units in 2006, the number declined to 75,192,000 the following year. In 2010, the units dipped to 74,791,000, the lowest since 2000. Meanwhile, rent-occupied units maintained a steady rise all the way to 2010, from 33,353,000 in 2000 to 37,069,000 in 2010, the highest in a decade.

In McHenry County, the housing data over the decade show home ownership went up by about 23,000 units, according to data from the American Community Survey, comparing the most recent 2005-09 data with those from 2000. The total number of housing units in use, by both owner- and renter-occupied units, increased by 17,548 units.

At the same time, renter-occupied units shot up by 1,578, according to the ACS comparisons.

And as those figures grew, the median rent also grew. The median rent in McHenry County was in the range between $600 and $1,000, compared with the $1,000-to-$5,000 range in the most recent analysis.

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