January tornado impacts Dougherty County rental market - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

January tornado impacts Dougherty County rental market

Rental properties are in high demand following the January tornado. (Source: WALB) Rental properties are in high demand following the January tornado. (Source: WALB)
Realtors at Coldwell Banker have had an increase in clients. (Source: WALB) Realtors at Coldwell Banker have had an increase in clients. (Source: WALB)
Tornado victims are faced with the decision of repairing their homes or starting from scratch. (Source: WALB) Tornado victims are faced with the decision of repairing their homes or starting from scratch. (Source: WALB)
Patsy Martin (Source: WALB) Patsy Martin (Source: WALB)
DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) -

Dougherty county realtors are busy trying to find housing for dozens of families who lost their homes during the January tornado.

Tornado victims looking to relocate temporarily until their homes are repaired could be hard pressed to find a rental property. Pasty Martin, realtor with Coldwell Banker Walden and Kirkland Realtors, said rental properties were scarce in the county and surrounding areas, even before the storm hit.

Now, with the lease market in high demand, Martin encourages those with properties on the market to sell to consider leasing instead.

"There's a very big demand for that right now," she said. "So call your favorite realtor and you know, talk about what you could lease it for, let the realtor meet with you because certainly we need more lease properties available than we have currently."

Martin said landlords and insurance companies have been flexible working with tornado victims on shortening lease terms.

Though many of Martin's clients are those looking to rent, other homeowners are faced with the decision of whether costly repairs will be worth it in the future.

"There is basically a value point in every neighborhood, and if you have to inject capital into that repair that's going to exceed the value of your home, it's going to be hard pressed to sell after that," Martin said.

Martin encourages tornado victims looking to relocate to connect with a realtor who can help them find available properties and make the decision that fits best for them.

Martin doesn't expect the January storms to negatively impact Dougherty County's housing market in future years.

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