RENTALS RISE: Renting While Market Recovers

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Julie Pike bought her Grimes town house four years ago.

"The granite was part of what sold me," said Pike.

Now she's getting remarried and moving in with her boyfriend. So to save money, she has put her town house on the market.

"I would love to find somebody who will take as good care of the home as I have and love it as much as I do."

Her home isn’t for sale.

That’s because the property next door was foreclosed on and sold for $30,000 dollars less than market value.

"I would be looking at selling it if I'm lucky for what I still have on my mortgage," Pike told Channel 13 News.

Her home is now for rent.  It’s something property manager Chris Hicks is seeing a lot of.

"Life moves on whether you can sell your house or not. Whether it's marriage or a new job, renting is a great option," said Chris Hicks, the owner of Real Property Management in Johnston.

In the past three months, Hicks has put 50 homes once for sale on the market for renters.

Census data shows that since 2000, 2% more people are renting in Des Moines with a 3% rise in Ames.

"They like the option to be able to build equity, but they're hopeful that the values will come up so in three years they'll be able to cover their mortgage and sell successfully."

It's an option not every home owner needs to explore.

According to the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors, since 2011, home sales were up 27% in the metro in August while the average time to sell dropped by 14 days.

Home prices are also up by an average of $11,000 dollars.

In Pike's case, renting her home is an option she hopes will help her make ends meet.

"It will allow me to pay down what I owe by having someone in here to cover the cost of the mortgage."