First Time Investor Trying to Determine Location

12 Replies


I am new investor looking to get started. I have spent the last year working two jobs to save money and at the same time improve my credit. I live in Tampa, FL but have been wanting to buy my first investment property in Tennessee or North Carolina. My family has been taking trips up there for years to ski on the mountains and to raft on the rivers. We always have rented a cabin and I was hoping I could buy a place and possibly rent it out as a vacation rental. So my question is, is an out of state vacation rental too much for a first time investor and if so should I stick a little closer home?


Hey Keith, Welcome to BP.

There is obviously a lot of qualities that you need to consider first. Honestly I don't see a huge issue with starting your investing career in a different market if you are able to develop sufficient systems. This includes a reliable cleaner, property management, rental sourcing, landscape etc. But if you have contacts around the area or are able to make some, I say go for it. Best of luck! 

@Keith Chew

This was literally our first investment :)

We have a vacation rental, across the country. As others have noted, the biggest things you need to find our a reliable and FANTASTIC cleaner (this is key) and also a great handyman. A lot of the management actually comes from just being available, making sure items are stocked and that your cleaner has the tools they need. 

Do you use Airbnb? If so, how easy is it to get people to rent your property? And how often does it get rented? I think this would be the way to go around all the mountains and tourist areas.

With the Florida market appearing to still be pretty hot, why start out of state?  I know's it's cool to own a vacation rental to share with your family but considering the distance why not start in Florida?   Also, while it's certainly doable to do an airbnb situation you'll have more vacancy and downtime and more to manage in terms of customer issues and cleaning.  There are certainly some advantages to short-term rentals but just keep all aspects in mind.  

@Keith Chew

You want to make sure your in touristy areas. Every town will have different occupancy averages. Are people traveling to this area all year round? Why? (More of a question for yourself, not to answer here :)  

We snag 90% occupancy pretty easily, and at the moment, we only use Airbnb.