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Fed-up farmer plows his stake into home rentals

Staff writer

Disappointed by last year’s wheat crop, Marion farmer Theron Nienstedt sold his farm last March and is now trying to cultiuate a new business: renting homes throughout the county.

Since March, he has purchased 19 properties, including seven that show up in our Docket page’s deed transfers this week.

Having to work a second job as a truck driver last year provided the impetus for him to sell the farm.

“Last year I was gone almost 6 months straight,” he said. “I was home for a few days here and there, but that was to make ends meet. In order to make payments, I had to stay out and be away from the kids that much and that was not fun at all. We sold our farm in March— the reason we did that was so I could be home with the kids and family more.”

Neinstedt’s family includes wife, Alicia, and two kids under the age of 5.

Nienstedt said he got into the business of renting homes because he has everything he needs.

“I used to have a landscaping business,” he said. “I have mowing equipment and expertise on how to fix houses and am kind of a jack of all trades.”

Alicia also helps with the rental homes.

“My wife is good at organizing and paperwork, getting things going in that direction,” Nienstedt said. “It just seemed to fit for us.”

After buying some properties, the Nienstedts have stumbled upon items left behind, some more unusual than others.

“The most interesting thing was a row of lockers,” Alicia said. “I mean, how many people leave lockers in a home, you know?”

They’ve also found a hospital bed, lockers, a china hutch, tables, dressers, beds, and other various items abandoned.

“You name it, it’s been left behind,” Alicia said.

Reasonings for leaving items vary from staging a home for selling to moving into a retirement home and not wanting to move items in storage.

“It’s just people giving up on their stuff and not wanting to deal with it,” she said.

All but four of the couple’s properties are being rented. They also have a list of 20 people wanting to rent.

“We didn’t realize it’s such a great market for renters in Marion,” Nienstedt said. “It’s been very successful so far.”

Last modified July 16, 2015

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