*Disclaimer: I am not a tax professional. I am a real estate professional. This article is to inform the reader about an IRS tax form that they may want to read if considering renting their property during college football season in Oxford, MS. When making decisions that can affect your taxes, always consult a tax professional.
Many Oxford homeowners rent their homes or condos during Ole Miss football weekends. Some live here year-round and stay with local relatives or camp out in the family RV on football weekends in order to make some extra money by renting their home in the fall. I know of families making $1000+ depending on who the Rebels are playing that weekend.
Others have a second house or condo here and visit for some games, renting their place out during games they can’t get here for.
Each of these homeowners that rent out their homes for a weekend earn Christmas money, vacation money, pay-the-mortgage money, what-ever-you-want-it-to-be-for money. The point is that many Oxford homeowners rent their homes short-term.
There are HOAs that don’t allow this practice, so if you live here or plan to buy a house or condo in the near future, check your HOA rules before advertising your home in the fall. But for those who can rent, it can be extra money.
Consider the cost, though, for advertising, cleaning, and staying somewhere else that weekend when you price your rental weekend. Do you have family in town you can stay with? Do you have an RV you can camp out in while strangers rent your house? Are you planning to be away that weekend anyway?
Check with local rental companies that specialize in this type of rental. Ask friends who rent and get their list of pros and cons. Consider the number of new hotel rooms in town.
Football isn’t the only weekend for rentals. There other Ole Miss sport events, local conferences and festivals that also bring in tourists wishing to rent a house, rather than a hotel room, for the week or weekend. Graduation is a popular time for week-long rentals as student’s family members pile into town to celebrate. Oxford is also a wonderful wedding town with so many classy venues. Guests and family members might rather stay in a house than a hotel as they prepare with pre-wedding festivities.
Real estate can be an investment so don’t just consider whether to buy a second home in Oxford based on your ability to rent short-term. The real value is in the equity you might be able to grow through the years of ownership, and the enjoyment you will have when you use it to visit this great little town.
If you are wondering about how renting your home affects your income taxes, click this link to the IRS form (topic 415) explaining short-term rental income. It talks about the deductions you might be able to take and the taxes you could pay with a rental property. But it also reads: “There is a special rule if you use a dwelling unit as a personal residence and rent it for fewer than 15 days.” Read up on what this special rule says for your situation.
With only 7 home football games you may not have to worry about keeping track of or reporting your rent income. Laws change year to year and while this one is current as of this writing, it may change tomorrow. Please read carefully and always consult your tax professional for advice before making plans to rent your home.
Eileen Saunders, REALTOR, SRES, Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655~662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344~Equal Housing