The typical "rental house" used to be a rundown urban dwelling inhabited by young singles. But in today's sluggish housing market, there's no such thing as a typical rental house.
It could be a McMansion on a cul-de-sac -- or even a million-dollar property in an exclusive subdivision.
"The availability of homes unsold is creating a whole new cottage industry: leasing houses," said Dennis Libby, broker/associate for Re/Max Results. "There's such a huge inventory of houses that more owners are converting them from homestead to investment properties."
On Sept. 1, the Multiple Listing Service started including rental properties, Libby noted, and the local Realtor Association and the MLS have adopted uniform leasing standards.
"Usually people think rental homes are starter homes," said Steve Rajavuori, a broker for REI Property Management. "Now there's a surprisingly larger number of $350,000 to $500,000 homes for rent." He recently worked with a Minnesota Wild player with a one-season contract, and had plenty of upscale rentals to show him. "It's a lot easier to find those now."