Sunday, May 3, 2009

Market for sabbatical homes

Professors and some other kinds of teachers have periodic leaves, for a semester or an academic year, that don't match well with the usual rental real estate market, in which leases tend to be for a calendar year. This opens up a niche for a specialized rental market for sabbatical homes.

A professor with an upcoming leave might look to such a market both to rent his or her own home while on leave, and to rent a home where he will be spending his leave. Since other professors are the people most likely to want to rent (in either direction) for a corresponding time period, this opens up the possibility of a dedicated marketplace in which participants in this small slice of the large real estate market can efficiently find each other. (Such a marketplace may also serve to thicken the market for people with taste for the kinds of homes that professors live in, and may make it easier for owners to verify details about potential renters that make them more comfortable to temporarily rent their homes.)

When I searched on the web (under "sabbatical homes"), I found the following contenders for a share of this market, all of which appear to operate as simple listing services (i.e. they post ads, and people can then contact each other).

SabbaticalHomes.com, WanderingEducators.com , AcademicHomes.com

Update (on the market for goat rentals, as a lawn mowing substitute): This post elicited the following email from Mary O'Keeffe:

"Your post on the sabbatical rental market brought back memories of a year my husband and I spent a couple terms as visiting assistant professors at Caltech in 1981 and rented an incredibly nice luxury Pasadena townhouse from a senior professor who was on leave during the same two terms that year. We got a great below-market price and he got responsible tenants whose schedules aligned with his needs.

Anyway, I thought you might be interested in this article about the developing goat rental market in Silicon Valley:

http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2009/05/01/google-and-yahoo-both-use-goats-for-lawn-mowing"

2 comments:

Mark said...

Thank you very much for sharing this. As many UK citizens continue to struggle to survive the recession, new opportunities to earn extra income have begun to surface. Now UK citizens can earn extra income from their homes (some of it tax-free) with the government's new Rent a Room Scheme. This program allows homeowners to rent out a spare room and earn up to £4,250 tax-free each year. Even renters can take advantage of this opportunity, provided that it is allowable as per the lease agreement signed with their landlord. As we kick on in to 2008 with the excesses of the Christmas and New Year break long forgotten, you no doubt made yourself a few promises as to how things were going to be different this year. Fore more information visit: http://www.evictatenant.co.uk.

Sabbatix.com said...

Another website not mentioned in your article that focuses on sabbatical homes is Sabbatix.com - Sabbatical Homes.

You can post and search for short and long term rentals, home sitting, and home exchanging.