Let's Be Realistic On Rental Housing
Let's get right to it. There is no miracle cure for baldness. There is no long-lost, recently deceased uncle who left you millions in a Nigerian bank, awaiting your email confirmation. And no, you are not likely going to make $150,000 renting your home for two weeks during the 2014 back-to-back U.S. Opens in Pinehurst.
Regardless, that's not going to stop some folks from trying, and it's gotten the attention of the United States Golf Association.
"We view our rental market as an asset, but people need to be realistic," said Reg Jones, senior director of U.S. Open Championships for the USGA and a Pinehurst resident. "We just want to make sure that when the last putt drops, people won't be disappointed that their home didn't rent because they had unrealistic expectations."
'A Different Market' This Time
Some local real estate agents believe in the early-bird-gets-the-worm strategy. They already represent a couple of hundred homes for rent during the championship weeks, and they think aggressive pricing for premier homes this early could net their owners a sizable sum.
One of those agents, Marcus Larose, told Pilot writer Ted M. Natt Jr. recently that he had already shown one of the pricey homes to a corporate hospitality firm and that "it's on the top of their list. ... These are corporate retreats that have amenities you can't find elsewhere."
The last time the men's U.S. Open played No. 2, in 2005, some homes in prime locations netted $50,000, Jones said. Depending on their locations, most homes rented for between $4,000 and $9,000. And prices for the U.S. Women's Open were lower than that.
"I would not expect that to happen this time," Jones said. "It's a different market given the recent economic downturn and its effect on corporate entertainment."
Don't Scare Them Away
You don't need to read quarterly earnings reports to know that corporations are operating on thinner profit margins made possible primarily from cutting costs. And if that's not reason enough, companies don't want to lay off workers while also dishing out hundreds of thousands of dollars for a week or two in Pinehurst. Last time we checked, shareholders were throwing corporate officers overboard for those kinds of sins.
The novelty of back-to-back U.S. Opens is a huge vote of confidence for Moore County. It represents a significant economic boost for the community. The last thing we want is to drive visitors to seek cheaper accommodations in Raleigh or Greensboro - and their related entertainment spending - at our expense.
Seven years ago, homes for rent went wanting because, local officials said, "their pricing structure was too high."
We appreciate the faith the USGA has placed in us - all of us - by taking this first-ever leap of faith and hosting its prestigious golf events here in consecutive weeks. And we're glad our citizens have a chance to profit financially from the opportunity.
But here, we are reminded of this truism: If it's too good to be true, it probably is. If you want to rent your home, then by all means get what you think you can get. But be realistic.
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