Homeowners getting less for Masters rentals

Flooded market, cutbacks blamed

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Lisa Whitney is able to pay a portion of her children's college tuition and take her family on an annual vacation with the money she makes renting her house during Masters Week.

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Lisa Whitney is among the many area residents who will offer their homes for rent during Masters Week. Her nearly 6,000-square-foot home in Evans will accommodate five people for $17,000 to $20,000.   COREY PERRINE/STAFF
COREY PERRINE/STAFF
Lisa Whitney is among the many area residents who will offer their homes for rent during Masters Week. Her nearly 6,000-square-foot home in Evans will accommodate five people for $17,000 to $20,000.

The Evans resident has been renting her home for six years. Each year, she and her husband receive $17,000 to $20,000 from renting their 6,000-square-foot home in Jones Creek subdivision. They have two children in college and another in middle school.

They are renting their home to corporate clientele through Executive Marketing Services in Augusta, she said.

"It's a really nice way to make a little extra money and to go away on a nice vacation," Whitney said. "We will be going to Turks and Caicos this year. We get to do things like that that we otherwise probably wouldn't do. I feel very fortunate that I'm able to make that kind of money. As long as I'm able to do it, we just love doing it."

The Whitneys have not had to lower their rental price this year, but other homeowners haven't been so lucky. Houses are renting at cheaper prices than past years for the Masters Tournament because of corporate cutbacks and an influx of homes on the market.

Even Tiger Woods' announcement that he'll play the tournament might not make a difference.

"Basically, the large companies that tend to come in for the Masters made the decision to budget their trip to Augusta over a year ago," said Jane Fuhrmann, the owner of Tournament Housing & Events LLC in Martinez. "Whether Tiger plays or not really doesn't have anything to do with the large companies. There will probably be some smaller groups that will want to come in."

Fuhrmann said she expects some increased activity but it's too soon to know how much her business will be affected.

The Masters Housing Bureau, which has an inventory of 1,000 homes, started receiving e-mails from journalists requesting housing within three hours of Woods' announcement Tuesday, said Sue Parr, the president and CEO of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, which operates the Masters Housing Bureau.

Housing rentals have been down slightly at Corporate Quarters in Martinez, said owner Diane E. Starr. Corporate Quarters has more than 1,000 homes in its database and works mostly with corporations, which have been sending fewer people to the tournament, she said.

Starr anticipates renting 80 percent of the available homes, which is similar to last year, but with less spent overall on housing.

The market is also being affected by unemployed residents who are trying to earn extra money by renting their homes, she explained.

"The market is flooded with houses. That causes the price of all the homes available to start dropping because there's more inventory available than normal," Starr said.

Housing rentals at Executive Marketing Services are similar to last year, said Vice President Chris Cheek, but he has also noticed a decrease in rental prices.

"A lot of them are reducing them even further as we get closer to the event," he said.

Corporations have also reduced the amount of time their people stay in Augusta, Cheek explained. Rather than sending a large group for the entire week, companies are entertaining people in waves and having them stay only a few days. As a result, the company might need only one house.

However, some homeowners haven't had to lower their prices at all, Parr said. Many returning renters will pay the same price they've paid in the past "because they see the value."

Comments (26) Add comment
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Bond..James..Bond
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Bond..James..Bond 03/17/10 - 08:48 am
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Wow, 17 - 20 k... nice

Wow, 17 - 20 k... nice

InChristLove
22410
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InChristLove 03/17/10 - 09:17 am
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I have no problem with

I have no problem with someone renting their home out or even making a profit doing it but $17,000 (for a week or maybe even less). That's $2400 a day! Just seems extravagant and wasteful.

walrus4ever
354
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walrus4ever 03/17/10 - 10:12 am
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I think I would rather keep a

I think I would rather keep a bunch of drunks off my mattresses and out of my bath at any price

Hatfield0278
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Hatfield0278 03/17/10 - 11:01 am
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So, ICL, do you have a

So, ICL, do you have a problem with someone renting their house out for profit or not?

lastminutejon
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lastminutejon 03/17/10 - 11:30 am
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Nothing like announcing your

Nothing like announcing your additional income to the world and the IRS.

KSL
118984
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KSL 03/17/10 - 11:54 am
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last, scroll to the bottom of

last, scroll to the bottom of the page on this link: http://www.executivemarketing.net/housingfaq.cfm No taxes are due on that income. How is that for fairness?

InChristLove
22410
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InChristLove 03/17/10 - 12:34 pm
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scorehouse, I do hope you

scorehouse, I do hope you weren't calling me a moron. Have we degraded so much so that when someone voices their opinion, others respond with name calling. How juvenile. Hatfield, I have no problem with someone making a profit, but on the bottom end of the scale, $2400 a day even for all the amenities seems a little excessive.

Suzy Q
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Suzy Q 03/17/10 - 01:00 pm
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Excessive to you, ICL, but

Excessive to you, ICL, but apparently not to everyone.

KSL, you say unfair on the tax issue, but the article says that the market is saturated by the unemployed putting their homes up for rent to try and make some money. Do you see it as unfair if they don't have to pay taxes either? Or is it only unfair to tax someone with a large home who makes a buttload of money for a week?

Sounds like the homeowners found a nice little loophole in the tax system that works to their benefit. I say good for them! Taking advantage of something that works ONE WEEK out of the year has got to be a welcome break from the royal screwing you get for the remaining 51 weeks, huh?

mar_1081
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mar_1081 03/17/10 - 01:13 pm
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I think the tax issue is due

I think the tax issue is due to the small amount of time someone is renting the house. There rental income that if you rented your home more frequently (like at the beach over the entire summer) then you would have to pay the rental income.

Everyone should take full advanatge of every tax break...thats why they have them!

corgimom
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corgimom 03/17/10 - 01:20 pm
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Lastminute, perhaps you are

Lastminute, perhaps you are unaware of the part of the IRS code called "the Augusta National Rule". You are allowed to rent out your home for a maximum of 14 days per year tax free. And yes, it came about because of the Masters.

Suzy Q
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Suzy Q 03/17/10 - 01:33 pm
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Ok corgi... I'm calling BS on

Ok corgi... I'm calling BS on your last comment. Care to cite a source for that information????

PattyLou
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PattyLou 03/17/10 - 01:40 pm
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This home is gorgeous! The

This home is gorgeous! The effort & expense to create such a beautiful home justifies the rental income.

Cadence
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Cadence 03/17/10 - 05:33 pm
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It is a very pretty house. I

It is a very pretty house. I would feel uncomfortable about having strangers live in my home for a week plus all of the cleaning and storage would be a lot of trouble. Very glad that some are willing, though, since some of the money will be spent in town (or in the Turks & Caicos). Anyway, my house would go for about $25 bucks LOL.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/17/10 - 05:55 pm
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The tax rule Corgi mentioned

The tax rule Corgi mentioned is for Georgia state income tax.

sassygirl12
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sassygirl12 03/17/10 - 07:45 pm
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wow nice money. but i would

wow nice money. but i would not rent my house out to a bunch of people that i do not know for them to do god knows what in your house and to your house. and especially in your and your childrens bed. no way not for me. vacation or not. people put money first and its a shame. i know that times are tough but my familys safety will always come first. my friends rented there house out every year to the same people and the last year they robbed them blind. and i know that it does not happen all the time but believe me it does happen

ideal1
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ideal1 03/17/10 - 08:24 pm
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i dont think money is placed

i dont think money is placed first. paying tuition and going on a family getaway seems to be an amazing pay off for having an amazing home.

JohnQPublic
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JohnQPublic 03/17/10 - 10:18 pm
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"It's a really nice way to

"It's a really nice way to make a little extra money and to go away on a nice vacation." I bet that income goes unreported. I'm sure it's some big firm and the rent was paid through the sweat of the common people the company ripped off. Unemployment is high and people are losing their home and STILL big companies have money to burn. Now let's ask what's wrong with this picture?

KSL
118984
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KSL 03/17/10 - 10:41 pm
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Suzy, it's a loophole that

Suzy, it's a loophole that has been around a long time through good times and bad. Here is the deal, it is the people with the upper end houses that are the ones with the upper incomes. It's a huge non taxed benefit to them.

KSL
118984
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KSL 03/17/10 - 10:44 pm
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JohnQ, I suggest you go back

JohnQ, I suggest you go back to my earlier post and avail yourself of the information. The income from renting your house, primary residence, for 15 days a year or less is exempt from taxes. The only thing wrong with this picture is that you are uninformed and chose not to take advantage of information provided to you.

KSL
118984
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KSL 03/17/10 - 10:47 pm
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Corgi, I saw your comment,

Corgi, I saw your comment, but I had already posted the link which included the non tax implications.

KSL
118984
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KSL 03/17/10 - 10:49 pm
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Riverman, check out my link.

Riverman, check out my link. It's federal tax. The people I know who have rented their homes for the Masters and not paid Federal tax are South Carolina residents. It's been in the tax law for years.

KSL
118984
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KSL 03/17/10 - 10:51 pm
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I, personally, have no

I, personally, have no interest in going through the hassle of readying my house the way it has to be done.

taxplanner
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taxplanner 03/17/10 - 11:38 pm
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If you have an issues, report

If you have an issues, report them for tax fraud (form 211) and get a reward. Because we all know for 20k free tickets (yea right) are included. Fair value of rental for exclusion maybe 2k, unreported proceeds for "free" tickets/master badges 18k, tax due $6k, your reward (priceless) or $900+ for each year the house was rented.

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 03/19/10 - 02:22 am
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Riverman1, as long as the

Riverman1, as long as the home you rent is rented for less than 14 days during the year and is your primary residence, all rental income is free of federal income taxes. And, taxplanner, you can easily justify 17k to the IRS when a hotel room at the Marriott is $650.00 per night and this is a 5 bedroom home for the week.

http://www.executivemarketing.net/housingfaq.cfm#do

JohnQPublic
5
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JohnQPublic 03/19/10 - 06:40 am
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In that case, "there oughta

In that case, "there oughta be a law". SSDD

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