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Preparing For Retirees and Temporary Workers With Rental Porperties

There is a present and an even larger near-future need for rental properties in Seymour.  If we prepare for this growth, we will be ready when it happens.  This growth can translate to an economic increase of your personal finances as well as our community and an opportunity to transform our town into a welcoming community for new residents whether they are long or short term.

 The Statistics
According to the 2008-2012 American Community Survey and the 2010 Census, Seymour has 1451 housing units and of those 249 are vacant.  At the time of the census, 26 of these vacant houses were for rent and 3 were rented, but not occupied.
There are 408 “renter” occupied housing units and 216 of those units are HUD housing.  This brings our total to 192. The Census Bureau actually considers this number to be the representation of the housing that is NOT owner-occupied.  So we have to consider families in Seymour that allow members to live in the house while their name is not on the deed itself.  I think this number would be drastically lowered if this factor was taken into consideration bringing it down to 150.
Now we look at the number of renter occupied units – 150, and the number of vacant rent houses available at the time of the census, and we can get an estimate of 121 renter occupied homes in Seymour.  This tells us two things… 1) 10.2% of our housing population rents and 2) 75% of those houses stay rented.
Retirees are coming to Seymour.  We have seen the increase in 55+ age population, but we will soon see the temporary workers increase as well.  Retirees rent for several different reasons.

  • Perhaps the biggest benefit of renting a home, whether it’s an apartment or a house, is that repairs and maintenance are the      responsibility of the owner. For seniors with declining health and mobility, this advantage can be a huge factor in favor of renting versus buying. Maintenance that usually falls under the responsibility of the homeowner or landlord includes: repair to appliances, fixtures and amenities, snow removal from driveways and walkways and other general upkeep.

Fixed Income

  • The equity built by owning a home may not add up to much of a profit when offset by the expenses of home ownership for seniors on a fixed incomes.  Issues that require major repairs out of the blue can be stressful or financially impossible, which could then cause a house to fall into disrepair and lose its value.

Green Space

  • Many seniors love spending time gardening and tending to their yard.  In apartments the lack of yard or garden space can be quite depressing for a retiree that is used to being outdoors.  Renting a home would provide the gardening area desired. For home owners renting their property out, retirees may prove beneficial maintaining a well-tended and attractive property front.

Many retirees do not require large homes.  They are purposefully down-sizing their lives for ease.  This is profitable for both parties.  Small houses are easier to maintain, property taxes are less because of the appraised value of a small home, it’s cheaper to heat and cool, easier to keep clean, and discourages additional tenants.  It is for these reasons, that I am encouraging people to either purchase small homes and renovate for the purpose of renting to retirees or to buy lots and construct “tiny” houses.  These are homes with a footprint less than 1000 sq feet which is about the size of a 2 bedroom apartment.  Many small homes are comprised of even less than 600 sq ft.
Temporary Workers
With the Green Acres Wind Farm to bring in 30+ people and hire a possible 100, the hospital’s remodel possibly bring 25+ workers for an estimated year, and the oil and gas exploration that is being done on the North and South East side of the county… We stand to house about 125 people.  Not all these are actually temporary and we should really look at none of them like that.  These are potential residents.  Potential residents want a home.  Temporary residents want a good RV location.  With one option we encourage growth through engaging in community type activity like living in a neighborhood, kids playing together in the yard, mowing your grass, etc. With the other we offer a place to come and go quickly.  While having this available to temporary workers is important, we should be more concerned with adding them to our community.
Current Citizens
Not be overlooked are the current citizens that either rent or live in one of the housing developments.  I believe that in all of us is the desire to progress whether it be in work, life, or in our surroundings.  If more affordable, well-kept rental properties were available, it is my opinion that these citizens would feel encouraged to acquire new housing.  Especially those interested in small homes where efficiency and modern ideas are available.
Additional Housing Information
The average house in Seymour was built from 1960 to 1979 @ 52.6%.  62.3% of those homes are 2-3 bedroom homes.
Of the 1451 housing units mentioned at the beginning of this presentation, 40 houses were for sale and 8 were sold but not occupied, 21 were vacant because they were used only for seasonal, recreational, or occasional use, which leaves 151 housing units purely vacant.  According to John Burkett he estimates that as much as 102 of these houses are is such disrepair that they can never be occupied.  This leaves us with a total of 49 possibly livable vacant homes.
The average age in Seymour is 50 to 69 years.  According to the 2010 census, 28.4% of renters are over 65.
The average household income of a renter in Seymour is $25K-34.9K @ 21.4% of renter population, $10K-$14.9K @ 19.2% of renter population, and $15K-$19.9K @ 18.2% of renter population.
In Non-Family households – 46.3% live alone and 31.7% are between the ages of 35 and 64.  65% of the renters pop have no children living with them.
In Family households that rent, 34.4% are married couples and 16.3% are between the ages of 15 and 34.  The average family household size for renters is 2.24.
23.9% of the rent houses available in Seymour rent for $300-$499 and another 23.2% rent for $200-$299.
The South East side of town is the least populated section of Seymour.  Many of the houses and lots can be purchased from the Appraisal Office.
If you are interested in building small homes, there are lots of resources available on the internet of forward thinking individuals who have built or designed these houses already.
Call To Action
I am encouraging citizen that have the means to purchase, revitalize, or construct homes for rent to do so.  I hear a need for them weekly, I see the need for them in the very near future, and I am excited about the possibilities that can come out of this endeavor.  If you would like more information or would like to see the statistical information this article was based off of, please call or email Lauren Bush at 940-889-0030 or
Lauren Bush
Economic Development Director
City of Seymour Texas
940-889-3148 xt 108