It's likely you or someone you know has moved recently, so you know how competitive the housing market is in this area, whether you are buying or renting. There's a new website that's taking advantage of that competition, and letting you bid on your rent.
It's called Rentberry. It started in some major cities about six months ago and it's finally hit the Tampa Bay area. Once you are on the website, you search for the city where you want to rent and find a property you like. There is a suggested monthly rent, but you can bid what you think you should pay.
Realtor Mike Rivera has been a property manager in this area for 17 years.
He says this site can be a good thing, especially in areas where rentals are limited like South Tampa. "It's a feast or famine kind of a thing so it may allow someone to go in there, find a property and actually bid a little bit more for it in order to get a property like that."
Rivera says bidding on your rent could drive up rent prices, but prices are already rising quickly simply because of the demand. Especially in Downtown Tampa and Downtown St. Pete where there are so many new condos and apartments. He says they are being rented as soon as they are built. And prices are going up in the suburbs as well, as families look to live in homes away from the city and near good schools.
Rivera says it's important to visit the neighborhood or apartment building to check it out before committing with a deposit.
Realtor dot com offers this advice when deciding what you should pay for rent:
*Compare rentals in the area to find out what others are asking.
*Look at the perks! In apartment buildings, do they offer a gym, pool or parking? If it's a home, is lawn service included?