Is there such a thing as a “bad” market?

11 Replies

I'm currently stationed at Ft. Benning in Columbus, GA. I'd like to use my VA home loan to buy a small multi family that I can house hack and ease my way into the investing world. I've been here for almost two years and honestly I can't make heads or tails of the place. Besides working on base there is very little job opportunity outside of fast food and entry level retail. It appears to be a lot of crime and unemployment is almost 25%. That said, there are pockets all over with well established historic neighborhoods that seem to be attempting to weather the storm.

I’m originally from Atlanta and with all the development going on back home I couldn’t afford to even live in my old neighborhood much less get my foot in the door investing.

So my question is... Would it be a bad idea to invest in the smaller cheaper market of Columbus even though it appears there may be little city growth/ development in the foreseeable future.

@Adrian Maynard

I would say as long the numbers make sense and you can cashflow from it, why not? I assume you plan to move out after a year or so and repeat? Unless the area is a "war-zone" and it's not safe to even step outside. Then you may want to look somewhere else with a better neighborhood

@Mart B.

Like most cities it’s got danger zones. The issue for me is how intermingled they are amongst the nicer areas. It’s to the point where I can’t tell which way the wind is blowing in any given pocket. I’ve run numbers on some particular properties I’ve found on Zillow and the numbers do work. Hopefully I can get into a decent area that isn’t losing ground and then be forced to deal with less then ideal tenants or run the risk of long term vacancy. Either way thank you for your input.

@Adrian Maynard
Hey man. You need to make it out to the next meetup if you are available. I'll be hosting one on military house hacking in November. 

Spending your time on Zillow looking for properties is not efficient. It's like looking for a girlfriend on Facebook. I'd tell you to find a good broker and explain what you're looking for exactly. I know several. Quads are a great start to the investment world and Columbus has several hit the market from time to time.

As far as the Columbus market, I am surprised to hear your opinion. The south side has some rough areas, but overall Columbus is a consistent, high-yield market. Wallet hub just ranked this market's economy # 57 in the nation for being so diverse, out of 501 cities/towns studied. 
I'd like to know where you got your data, because I have completed market analysis of Columbus and found sources for ~5% unemployment, slightly higher than GA average. 
I'd be happy to share with you some info on the city. 

Also, to answer your topic question, there are absolutely bad markets. I'd argue Columbus GA is not one of them. 

@Bo Goebel Thanks for your reply and invitation. I'd love to attend, PM me the date and time. Also, I feel like a jack *** lol. I just went back to the site i got the data from (worldpopulationreview) and realized that I was siting the poverty rate not unemplyoment. My mistake, hope this doesn't make for a bad impression should we ever meet.

If you have any areas in particular that you find to be good locations please let me know. Being military, alot of the info and descriptions I get are from my coworkers. The few areas Ive seen personally that I think are nice but not out of my range is south of the lake bottom area near Wyntton Elm.

@Adrian, I'm not familiar with that specific market, but generally towns around military installations make decent places to own real estate. You could talk to the base administration and see what the plan(s) for growth are on the base over the next 5 years. This would give you some insight to population increase and supply/demand changes! There are a lot of military real estate investors active on BP, and we all seem to agree (for the most part) that house hacking is the greatest way to get started!

Originally posted by @David Pere :

@Adrian, I'm not familiar with that specific market, but generally towns around military installations make decent places to own real estate. You could talk to the base administration and see what the plan(s) for growth are on the base over the next 5 years. This would give you some insight to population increase and supply/demand changes! There are a lot of military real estate investors active on BP, and we all seem to agree (for the most part) that house hacking is the greatest way to get started!

 With your headquarters based out of oceanside, do you have a lot of real estate in that area? Do you have strategies specifically for military members? The idea of investing near bases intrigues me but I'm not sure how the markets are for those areas. 

@Jonathan, I don't touch this market. I invest in southwest Missouri haha. There is a lot of real estate investing here though.