Here's an idea: Cash-flow your house and move somewhere fun. Hot rental markets enable lifestyle changes for Americans.

American Household News

Feeling restless? Antsy? Adventurous?

Consider packing up the house and hitting the road. You might just make some money.

New data from Zillow.com shows that popular metro areas such as Atlanta, Memphis, and Miami have higher average monthly rents than most mortgage payments in those same cities. In fact, more than 60 percent (33) of the 50 largest U.S. metro areas have the same market condition: the monthly cost to rent is generally higher than a mortgage payment.

That means more and more homeowners may have the option of leasing their house at positive cash flow and exploring other living arrangements and locations.

"The Great Reshuffling and the ability to work from home has severed or seriously stretched the commute for millions of Americans and opened up new opportunities for them to live where they've always dreamed. A recent Gallup poll found 52% of U.S. workers are in at least partially remote jobs, while 33% are fully remote." - Zillow.com

The Zillow analysis found that locations along the coast in the southern U.S., as well as the Midwest, have the most opportunity for people to generate cash from the spread between their mortgage payments and prospective rental income. Memphis, TN is the most favorable, according to Zillow, "with typical rents at $1,504 in July and typical total monthly mortgage payments at just $948." That's a difference of $556 a month, or almost $6,700 a year. Miami, FL has a rent-to-mortgage spread of $522. Atlanta, GA has difference between rents and mortgage payments of $424.

"For homeowners looking to explore life in a top metro for digital nomads or favorite vacation town without selling their current house, renting can open the door," said Amanda Pendleton, Zillow's home trends expert, in a press release announcing the data.

Rent growth across the U.S. slowed dramatically following the coronavirus outbreak, Zillow said, but quickly recovered in 2021. The Seattle-based company's recent market report shows rents in July are up annually in all 50 major metros.

"Single-family homes comprise about one-third of the nation's total rental stock," said Zillow economist Alexandra Lee, in a statement. "Owners who do rent out their properties can provide both much-needed rental inventory in tight markets as well as sought-after space and amenities for families looking to move up from an apartment."

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