How to determine target area when purchasing "buy and holds" in Philadelphia

4 Replies

I was told that a good target area to purchase buy and hold where areas that have the most jobs or near college campuses. The area with the most jobs is center city and that's way out of my price range and the same with college campuses. Not to mention near colleges there are a lot of "for rent" signs which means the supply is high in that area but not necessarily the demand. So does anybody have any other advice?

Id recommend near small or major bus/train terminals. Some areas may not be as good but there are always prospect tenants.

You can make money renting in any area, so long as you buy right.  In higher-end neighborhoods, should expect better quality tenants, lower cash flow, but potentially more appreciation.  In lower-end neighborhoods, the reverse is true.  So your question of where to target really depends on your investment goals, your time horizon, your capital availability and financing options, etc.

In my personal opinion, I would advise you to stay away from student rentals in Philly.  Right near Penn is very expensive, and many other schools (e.g. Drexel, Temple, USP) are building more student housing to discourage students living off campus.

Hi Michael,

The interesting thing about Philadelphia is that it is surrounded by suburbs and towns that are easily accessible by car and readily accessible my SEPTA.  While there are a large percentage of jobs in the City, there are also a large percentage of jobs in the suburbs.  Note, 3 of the 4 largest Pharmaceutical Companies (1000s of employees) are less than an hours drive from Philadelphia.  Side note, I live in east Mt. Airy and it takes me 15 minutes to drive to my place of employment at one of these companies.  Therefore, people who live in the city move in and out of it to work.  Jobs should not be a factor in this instance.

I would encourage you to keep an open mind to where to invest in Philadelphia.  Your options are plenty.  If you want to rent to college students the opportunities are there, but the purchase will come at a premium.  If you want to support our lower income residents opportunities can be found here as well and you pay a lot less to purchase. 

I would say, focus in on what type of landlord you want to be, this will help you determine the type of tenant you want to attract; this will help you determine the rental rate you should expect; this will help you determine the area where you should target your purchase.

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