TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Rental properties have become scarce as prices sky rocket in East Texas with many having a hard time finding a new home.

The minute you see an available rental property, if you can’t act on it immediately, chances are you won’t see it again. We usually hear about how the homebuyer’s market can be, but now the competition lies in the rental market.

The rise in rental prices in East Texas are influenced by inflation and supply and demand. But since the pandemic hit, many people have hunkered down and plan to stay where they are at which influences how many units are available in the area.

“It’s hard to find something, with all the jobs coming to town with the change over in the hospitals. UT Tyler and TJC have been growing. So, you have a lot of people coming here for work that are looking. The soonest it’s available- they come looking,” said Josh Tavenner, Leasing Specialist with Nancy Wright Properties Management. With many people in a hurry to find a new place, there are dangers to just throwing in an application without touring the property first. It’s important to think about what’s best for your wallet. “Is it worth it to spend $45 or $90 on application fees to have a chance or if the property is not worth it- I really discourage people from doing that,” said Tavenner.

The availability of rental properties available in East Texas is scarce. Many have thought about going through private homeowners to rent. In financial times such as these, many people are asking the question: Is home buying or renting a better option?

“The way the market is now, renting is the better option. There are less maintenance costs, you don’t have to worry about lawn care, repairs, your roof- all of the things that come with homeownership. And you don’t have to worry about any other misc. expenses,” said Dr. Charles Needham, Business professor at Jarvis Christian.

With inflation affecting the home buying expenses as well, renting may be the best option. “First of all, make sure in any way possible that you have good credit because even to rent you need good credit. Also, be aware of scammers. Unfortunately, with the housing market so tight with regards to renters- there are scammers out there who are taking advantage of the people who are looking for a place to go,” said Dr. Needham. Being aware of scammers who have fake deeds and posting fake ads to a home they don’t even own can save you money on a deposit that isn’t real.

It may take time to find a new home for you and your family and you may have to spend a little bit more in the current market. Though, keep in mind that the competition is opening the door for scammers so it is important not to rush the process to protect your personal information.