Rockford woman using real estate market to pay for retirement - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford woman using real estate market to pay for retirement

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

September marks the third month in a row that Rockford housing sales were higher than they were in 2011. Some people taking advantage of lower prices aren't buying to live in their home.

Janelle Widergren got tired of not getting a return on her money on the stock market so she's trying her hand in the real estate market. For her, being a landlord is paying off better than any other retirement plan.

"The value of the homes are so low right now - I see it's a plus-plus for me."

Widergren says she's seeing immediate income from this Loves Park house she bought this summer.  She and her brother put seven weeks of hard work into rehabbing it. Janelle started renting it in September. Part of the process is making sure she gets a reliable tenant.

"I do ask for their income, if they've had any bankruptcy, I ask about their past if they've owned their own home," said Widergren.

Rockford Area Realtors President and CEO Steve Bois says this is part of a trend in our region.

"We've seen a lot of transactions at what I like to call a beginning pricing point and a lot of those transactions we view are from investors. Investors are seeing the market is ripe right now for investors to purchase property and renovate it in certain cases and open it up for rental and see cash flow immediately," said Bois.

The Rockford housing market's inventory hasn't been this low since 2006, which leads to other pleasant surprises for realtors.

"We're seeing activity at all levels of the marketplace and realtors are even talking about multiple offers now, which we haven't talked about multiple offers for 5 or 6years. So we're excited about that."

Janelle plans to buy another house soon and that this type of work makes her happy knowing she's giving people a place to live.

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