Augusta Economy

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Masters Week rental agencies optimistic

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Rental agencies specializing in Masters Week housing say strong interest three months away from the tournament signifies that the market has recovered from a hard hit taken during the economic recession and slow recovery.

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Pam Palmer signed a contract for $5,300 to rent her three-bedroom home in the Conifer neighborhood in west Augusta during the Masters Tournament this year. She's been renting for almost 20 years.  Chris Thelen/Staff
Chris Thelen/Staff
Pam Palmer signed a contract for $5,300 to rent her three-bedroom home in the Conifer neighborhood in west Augusta during the Masters Tournament this year. She's been renting for almost 20 years.

“Last year, I could see it was getting a little better. But this year, I can see it’s back to where we were in 2000,” said Diane Starr, the owner and president of Corporate Quarters Inc. in Martinez.

In the past decade, corporations cautiously watching spending after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and during the economic slump cut back on rental houses for sporting events including the Masters, Starr said. Some corporations never left but rented fewer houses, in some cases two rather than seven.

Not only have Starr’s clients returned, but new renters have been attracted to the 2012 tournament. An increase in demand has driven rental prices up compared with the past four years, she said.

Pamela Palmer signed a contract for $5,300 to rent her three-bedroom home in the Conifer neighborhood in west Augusta. She’s been renting almost 20 years, using Masters Housing Bureau for the past three years.

“When I get home, I honestly can’t tell anybody’s been in my house,” Palmer said.

For Masters Housing Bureau, operated by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, the rebound has continued, but rental rates have maintained their level, said Sue Parr, the chamber president and CEO.

House listings and rentals are ahead compared to last year, Parr said. Homeowners can list until the end of the month with Masters Housing Bureau.

“This is the hot time. Once that Jan. 1 kicks in, everyone looks at the calendar and says ‘Oh wow, Masters is three months off,’” she said.

In past years, Palmer put the rental money toward her children’s school tuition. Now, it’s extra income for decorating, home improvement projects and travel to escape during Masters Week.

“It’s a great time for me to get out of town, too,” she said. “Our neighborhood pretty much rents and leaves. It fills with renters.”

Jane Fuhrmann, the president of Tournament Housing and Events, said her market grows bigger every year. When the final day of the tournament falls on Easter Sunday, as it does this year, Fuhrmann typically sees rentals decline, but that hasn’t been the case for 2012.

“I would say I’m looking at a very good year,” Fuhrmann said.

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/05/12 - 05:05 pm
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"How do I rent my two bedroom

"How do I rent my two bedroom house off Peach Orchard Rd. for two days for $20,000?"

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 01/05/12 - 05:09 pm
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Maybe you could rent it to a

Maybe you could rent it to a couple of prostitutes and take a share of their earnings!

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 01/05/12 - 05:18 pm
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River, you have corrupted LL,

River, you have corrupted LL, I think; though it could be the reverse.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 01/05/12 - 05:31 pm
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:-)

:-)

iLove
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iLove 01/05/12 - 05:41 pm
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lol! lol...Peach Orchard Rd.

Unpublished

lol!

lol...Peach Orchard Rd.

iLove
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iLove 01/05/12 - 05:44 pm
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You can't tell me that if you

Unpublished

You can't tell me that if you live in Augusta, Ga, you can't make atleast a little money during Master's Week....legal money that is :)

madgerman
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madgerman 01/05/12 - 05:50 pm
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What a wonderful idea, to

Unpublished

What a wonderful idea, to have the C of C manage a rental busines but I do have a few questions.

Question 1. Is the CofC bulding a city asset that is maintained by city workers? In other words does it belong to the taxpayers of the county?

Question 2. If the answer Q-1 is yes, then do we also fund the C of C?

Question 3. If the answer to Q-2 is yes, why are funding a real estate rental business and what does it reimburse the county for its facility and utilities?

Question 4. Does it devote its resources to Richmond county or can Columbia home owners also use the service?

kiwiinamerica
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kiwiinamerica 01/05/12 - 06:27 pm
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Maybe I need to see a shrink,

Unpublished

Maybe I need to see a shrink, or something. My home is my castle. It's sacred to my family and my dogs. I'll invite in friends, acquaintances and visitors for a finite period of time while I'm home. I'll even let them use my bathroom.

But rent it to complete strangers for an entire week in my absence?

I'm not there yet. Maybe I never will be.

augusta citizen
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augusta citizen 01/05/12 - 07:14 pm
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Little Lamb is a sharp

Little Lamb is a sharp cookie, I think that might work out for you Riverman.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 01/05/12 - 09:16 pm
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All I got was 2 really

All I got was 2 really lowball offers in Nov and Dec for about half what I rented for last year by bargain hunters. No activity yet in 2012.

itsanotherday
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itsanotherday 01/06/12 - 12:48 am
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That answer is easy. Leave 4

Unpublished

That answer is easy. Leave 4 tickets to the toonamint on the kitchen table.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 01/06/12 - 07:46 am
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My kin rents sometimes off

My kin rents sometimes off Evans-LockRd area....nice $$$...$8,000 a week taxfree ya know...most give maid service that week....not to mention "other goodies"...gift certicates & such..
Golfers have stayed there B4....98% take great care of the home....sometimes news crew rent & they are on the course more than in the house. ...anyhow..it works for them.

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