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Renters still have time to make a profit during RNC week

The clock is ticking for bay area residents who want to rent out their homes during the week of the Republican National Convention.

The good news: Hotels are already full, so the last-minute bookers are now looking to bunk in private residences for that week.

The bad news: The politicians and party donors who were likely to pay the big bucks have probably already taken care of their accommodations.

"Most of the phone calls of late are from media, entertainment, security," said Marvin Meeks, founder of Urban Living Tampa Bay, "and they don't have the larger budgets that the politicians have."

So if you are still thinking about putting your house or condo up for rent that week, do it sooner rather than later, Meeks said.

"I wouldn't say it's too late," Meeks said, "but I would say that the budgets that people are calling in with aren't nearly as substantial as what people have been hoping for."

That isn't stopping some. By Monday afternoon, 141 new RNC-related rentals had been posted to Craigslist, just since July 23.

And Meeks said he and other agents have been getting an influx of calls from last-minute renters looking for somewhere to stay.

The homes that are the most appealing are the ones that are very close to the convention's base at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

"It's not necessarily about the size of the home as it is about the proximity," Meeks said. "I get a lot of requests for walking distance because traffic that week is going to be so bad."

Someone further away — say, in Pinellas County — might have some luck if they aren't asking for a lot of money, Meeks said, but in reality, renters aren't looking to stay that far away.

"(Those homes) are not going to be as much in high demand," he said.

Renters still have time to make a profit during RNC week 08/03/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 3, 2012 6:00am]

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