Charleston or Atlanta?

7 Replies

Hi, everyone,

My goal is to buy a house within a year.

I'm originally from Charleston but moved to Atlanta a few months ago. It seems as if Atlanta is this haven for flippers and wholesalers and I would like to live in the house to learn property management first hand but I don' t know the area very well.

Charleston on the other hand is very familiar to me. I already have neighborhoods and parts of town in mind. The city has many sources of potential tenants, two military bases, four colleges, one of the biggest medical universities in the Southeast and many manufacturing companies like Boeing and Volvo. Problem is I'm 5 hours away and I feel it would be harder to manage so far away, plus I'm tired of renting and would like to live in my first property for a year before I progress in my career.

Any thoughts?

From what you described, I think you should buy in Atlanta, live in the property, gain experience with your property and add Charleston after you have gotten your feet wet. Apply the BRRRR strategy discussed here and refinance and take some money out for more properties in Atlanta or Charleston. And while you are at it try to find a good property manager in Atlanta to manage if you have to leave Atlanta. A good property manager in Charleston can help manage properties there for you as well.

Mikayla, 

I don't have any experience with Charleston, but just recently left Atlanta after 10 years for a promotion. I would definitely recommend buying in Atlanta (suburbs). There are so many great suburbs that are appreciating well there. 

One thing I'm doing now is driving to different neighborhoods on the weekend and saying "Do I want to live here?" I also ask everyone I meet that's a home owner 1) Where they live, 2) How's the commute. Not sure where you live now or what your budget is, but areas I was starting to look at to invest in before my move were McDonough (south), Cobb County/Smyrna/Kennesaw(North) and Ft Belvedere/Decatur/Edgewood (East).  When I purchased in 2009, I took some advice I heard somewhere and decided to buy close enough to be in a trendy area within 10 minutes, but far enough I could afford my mortgage on the premise that the trendy area will overflow into my area at some point. Not sure if that has happened, but my area has appreciated nicely. 

Originally posted by @Leanne J. :

Mikayla, 

When I purchased in 2009, I took some advice I heard somewhere and decided to buy close enough to be in a trendy area within 10 minutes, but far enough I could afford my mortgage on the premise that the trendy area will overflow into my area at some point. Not sure if that has happened, but my area has appreciated nicely. 

 That's actually some awesome advice, thank you for the tips!

Originally posted by @Julius G. :

From what you described, I think you should buy in Atlanta, live in the property, gain experience with your property and add Charleston after you have gotten your feet wet.

You're right it would make sense to start where I live. More time to research PMs Thanks!

I'd invest where I live for my first one or two. Plus, Atlanta is much larger than Charleston and there seems to be more opportunity across the board. We're such a small market that's experiencing so much growth that investing is hard at the moment. There's a ton of competition here right now.

Originally posted by @Troy Gandee :

I'd invest where I live for my first one or two. Plus, Atlanta is much larger than Charleston and there seems to be more opportunity across the board. We're such a small market that's experiencing so much growth that investing is hard at the moment. There's a ton of competition here right now.

 Just seeing this. It seems unanimous. Thanks!

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here