Quick hit: The out-of-state company that’s now a major Omaha landlord

What happened: Over the past 30 months, the number one buyer of single-family homes in Douglas County has been Vinebrook Homes, which lists a Dayton, Ohio address. The $2.4 billion company has been growing its real estate holdings across the country, now claiming more than 21,000 homes in the Midwest, Great Plains and the South. The majority of the company’s purchases here are in North Omaha. The company purchases the homes with cash, and then operates them as rental units. It is now one of the largest landlords in the city, according to Omaha’s rental registration. 

Why it matters: Tenants, local landlords and real estate agents worry that giant out-of-state real estate investment groups like Vinebrook will make it harder for Omahans to buy their own homes. Every home that gets sold to an investor as a rental, they say, is one less home available to people trying to buy. The market is hot: Home sales in North Omaha jumped more than 80% from 2020 to 2021. As a result, North Omaha property valuations are now the most out-of-whack in the county. That means valuations — and tax bills — will soon rise. 

See the KETV report on Vinebrook

Read the full report from the Flatwater Free Press

By Matt Wynn

Matt Wynn is the Executive Director of the Nebraska Journalism Trust, which launched and funds the Flatwater Free Press. He has spent 13 years at news organizations across the country, most recently on the investigative team at USA Today. He lives in his hometown of Omaha with his wife, Sarah, and three children.

2 Comments

State Sens. Justin Wayne and Terrell McKinney of Omaha introduced the proposal, Legislative Bill 1024, which calls for using $450 million to help North Omaha recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. With the state receiving more than $1 billion through the American Rescue Plan Act, Wayne said now is the time for “big and bold ideas.” McKinney

Thank you for this story. I live in North Omaha and am planning to move in the fall. I was definitely tempted to take the first cash offer and be rid of my house, but no longer. What these out-of-state companies are doing is racist and classist. That house was affordable to me at a time when I had minimal resources, and I don’t want to contribute to that opportunity being lost for someone else.