Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Have You Noticed All the Residential"For Rent" Signs in Brownsville?

Two Bedroom Apartment on E. St. Charles St.
$280 Per Month Rent
Some time back, two of our young city commissioners, Debbie Portillo and Cesar De Leon, were engaging in light banner about the difficulty in finding an apartment in Brownsville.

When one or the other said they'd located an apartment for $800 per month, the other commissioner responded:  "Where did you find one for $800?"

$380 Per Month, All Bills Paid
An explanation heard at the time was that the influx of Mexican Nationals fleeing to escape the violence in their country was tightening the market for rentals in Brownsville.

Currently, the "eye test" seems to indicate the situation has changed with respect to rental units in Brownsville.  I see available housing all over town, many like the low end units pictured in this article, but others in more affluent areas.  A number of blocks in West Brownsville have two or three homes for rent.
Craig Grove of Grove Realty

I reached out to realtor Craig Grove of Grove Realty to get his thinking on this.  Here is his response:

"Good observation Jim. I think there are a lot of variables. Currently the rental inventory with agents is actually a bit low. But we are seeing Mexican Nationals put their homes on the market more so then in recent past.

I think there is a bit of a Trump effect. Some people have expressed that they don't feel welcome anymore. But most people seem to be moving due to economic reasons such as the peso devaluation that has been happening. Also, they are looking for other job opportunities north or south of here."

My question hinted that the bluster and actions of our current U.S. administration caused Mexican Nationals to think twice about locating here.  Craig indicates that may have played a part in the market, along with peso devaluation and other economic factors. 


  1. They cannot just relocate. The visa they have is for tourism. They would be violating the immigration law. They could be banned. Its not just i wanna move to the USA let's go.

  2. Youre asking wrong person for their insight on issue. Any smart person would rent their home on their own and not with a realtor.all they do is list the property and wait for someone else to get it rented' and make a Sizeable commission by doing so. Alot of them will just go place a sign and never market it or go the extra mile to get it sold . It is Easier, better, and more effective for the owner to rent their own homes. I know a few people who own rental property and are actually doing quite well and will tell you that there is a huge demand in the area for housing. The problem is most landlords are "slumlords" they wont invest a dime into their properties and want to rent them out for an arm and a leg, therefore there is no interest in the properties as they are in bad shape, some in horrible shape and very expensive. That is the reason you may see many "for rent" signs. Another factor is the banks being so strict on home loans, mortgages. People have to rent as they will not qualify for mortgages, so there is a bigger demand for rentals

  3. Youre asking the wrong person for insight on the rental market. Most smart property owners would rather lease their own homes than pay a realtor to place a sign on the window and wait to get a commission. I know a couple of property owners who have investment properties in Brownsville and are doing quite well, they will tell you that the rental market in brownsville is great as banks are making it even harder to qualify for mortgages. Most people have poor credit so are forced to rent. The reason you see alot of signs is because in Brownsville most landlords are "slumlords", they want to get rich off the property without ever investing a dime in it. They also want to charge an arm and a leg hence the property doesnt rent. This is especially true in the downtown area. I dont think it has anything to do with foreign nationals, or realtors but the poor quality of rental housing. Next time ask the experienced investor/landlord instead of the realtor, you will get a better answer.



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