THE REWARDS OF BEING A LANDLORD
My husband Monte and I have always prided ourselves on maintaining low rents in the apartment units we manage. This allows couples to live reasonably enough that they can use our property as a steppingstone on their life journey.
A Chinese couple seemed pleased with our rental rate on a two bedroom apartment. He’d been paying well over $500 for a small apartment outside Pittsburgh, but wanted to move to Slippery rock so the wife could complete her education. The rent for the apartment was well under $500, and it included utilities.
While living there, a set of parents visited from China. They stayed for a year, with the couple paying the extra fee for utility use during that time. What an opportunity for foreigners to immerse themselves in the American culture!
When the wife graduated the couple moved to Monroeville, where they were charged $630 plus utilities for at two-bedroom townhouse. Before they left, she told us the rent they saved while living in our apartment virtually paid for her education.
The average apartment rents for Westmoreland County, as listed in today’s newspaper, range from $405 to $610 per month, plus utilities. In 1998 the rates for Pittsburgh ranged from $633 to $824.
Monte feels the Slippery Rock area is now over-built, with an excess supply of living space and apartments. It’s more difficult to rent nowadays, it seems, unless landlords are willing to rent to irresponsible persons.
When we owned a small house in Slippery Rock, the borough hired a Pittsburgh inspection team to inspect rental units. The inspector was positively impressed with our property, and told Monte they were after the slum- and student-housing landlords. We received our rental license, to be displayed prominently in a window.
I hope we can maintain our low rental fees, allowing us to continue to assist families in their upward mobility. This is the reason we entered the rental market. As Monte said, we are not becoming millionaires, but the reward we receive is greater. Like helping a family complete their educational goals.