Analysis Paralysis 2021

30 Replies

Hello BP Community. 

I am asking for advice on how to break through analysis paralysis. I am a CA resident looking to invest OOS in MFH in the 100k range. I understand the process of building a team and knowing your market before making an offer, especially if it is not your backyard. I have analyzed Atlanta (GA), Conyers (GA), Columbus (OH), Memphis (TN), Charlotte (NC), Ashebero (NC), St. Louis (MO) and Fort Wayne, (IN). In that analysis I looked at their population, population growth, crime rate, school ratings, job growth, average property age, top industries, average home sale price, average monthly rent rates, median household income, how many Fortune 1000 companies, average appreciation over the last year and 10 years, and cost of living index rating.

After reviewing the results, Atlanta and Fort Wayne stand out as contenders.

Atlanta pro: Great population growth, job growth, diverse industries, household incomes and monthly rental rates. 

Atlanta con: Neighborhoods in my price range have high crime rates, low school ratings, and properties are in need of more repair than I am comfortable with for a first investment property.

Fort Wayne pro: Crime rate is low and population count is near a favorable range and growing.

Fort Wayne con: Average rental rates are low, not much diversity found in major industry types, and properties in my price range are scarce.

I have heard many times that it is more important that you decide, rather than what you decide on. I want to make the best educated decision possible, but keep getting deterred by the cons I find for any given city. Am I overlooking any other promising markets for my criteria? Should someone in my position trust their analysis and just be patient while searching for the right deals in one of the two cities I have mentioned above? Any advice is welcome.

- Bill

Originally posted by @Bill Kenshur :

Hello BP Community. 

I am asking for advice on how to break through analysis paralysis. I am a CA resident looking to invest OOS in MFH in the 100k range. I understand the process of building a team and knowing your market before making an offer, especially if it is not your backyard. I have analyzed Atlanta (GA), Conyers (GA), Columbus (OH), Memphis (TN), Charlotte (NC), Ashebero (NC), St. Louis (MO) and Fort Wayne, (IN). In that analysis I looked at their population, population growth, crime rate, school ratings, job growth, average property age, top industries, average home sale price, average monthly rent rates, median household income, how many Fortune 1000 companies, average appreciation over the last year and 10 years, and cost of living index rating.

After reviewing the results, Atlanta and Fort Wayne stand out as contenders.

Atlanta pro: Great population growth, job growth, diverse industries, household incomes and monthly rental rates. 

Atlanta con: Neighborhoods in my price range have high crime rates, low school ratings, and properties are in need of more repair than I am comfortable with for a first investment property.

Fort Wayne pro: Crime rate is low and population count is near a favorable range and growing.

Fort Wayne con: Average rental rates are low, not much diversity found in major industry types, and properties in my price range are scarce.

I have heard many times that it is more important that you decide, rather than what you decide on. I want to make the best educated decision possible, but keep getting deterred by the cons I find for any given city. Am I overlooking any other promising markets for my criteria? Should someone in my position trust their analysis and just be patient while searching for the right deals in one of the two cities I have mentioned above? Any advice is welcome.

- Bill

 Hi Bill, I am an investor here in Columbus. Would be happy to share any info I can on the area. 

Originally posted by @Bill Kenshur :

Hello BP Community. 

I am asking for advice on how to break through analysis paralysis. I am a CA resident looking to invest OOS in MFH in the 100k range. I understand the process of building a team and knowing your market before making an offer, especially if it is not your backyard. I have analyzed Atlanta (GA), Conyers (GA), Columbus (OH), Memphis (TN), Charlotte (NC), Ashebero (NC), St. Louis (MO) and Fort Wayne, (IN). In that analysis I looked at their population, population growth, crime rate, school ratings, job growth, average property age, top industries, average home sale price, average monthly rent rates, median household income, how many Fortune 1000 companies, average appreciation over the last year and 10 years, and cost of living index rating.

After reviewing the results, Atlanta and Fort Wayne stand out as contenders.

Atlanta pro: Great population growth, job growth, diverse industries, household incomes and monthly rental rates. 

Atlanta con: Neighborhoods in my price range have high crime rates, low school ratings, and properties are in need of more repair than I am comfortable with for a first investment property.

Fort Wayne pro: Crime rate is low and population count is near a favorable range and growing.

Fort Wayne con: Average rental rates are low, not much diversity found in major industry types, and properties in my price range are scarce.

I have heard many times that it is more important that you decide, rather than what you decide on. I want to make the best educated decision possible, but keep getting deterred by the cons I find for any given city. Am I overlooking any other promising markets for my criteria? Should someone in my position trust their analysis and just be patient while searching for the right deals in one of the two cities I have mentioned above? Any advice is welcome.

- Bill

 Ohio is better

Hey @Bill Kenshur ! I'm also from CA! Started investing out of state last year. I liked it so much that I actually left engineering to do real estate investing full time. Are you planning on self managing or hiring a property manager?

@Brandon Goldsmith Is spot on. No matter where you decide to invest you will need a team. 

Get multiple sources of inventory, no matter where you decide to get started inventory is low all over the country (Atlanta is no exception). Being out of state you will need to establish solid relationships in order to have success in any market. If you have any questions in regards to the Atlanta market feel free to reach out. 

Best wishes!

Hello Bill. I completely understand your fear. What's happening is that you're overloading your mind with information. You need to take a HUGE step back and go to the basics. You're buying a property, you're renting it to someone who either can't afford a mortgage or won't be living in the area long term, and you're doing that with multiple properties.

Just choose a strategy, just one! Then choose a market, just one! Then choose an area, just one! Then start making offers on properties. Do not overthink this or you're going to go crazy... like me... I was there. I know how you feel!

Hi Bill,

You mentioned Charlotte NC.  I live in Charlotte metro area and work for a property management company.  I can tell you from personal experience that Charlotte is a great place to live and to invest.  Nothing gets done from over analyzing things.  I would just find a great property where the numbers all make sense.  The numbers don't lie.  I hope that helps.

Just do this. Will you move your family to the target market and live there for at least 10-15 years. If it is yes then go with that market. If all the micro and macroeconomics line up then pull the trigger and start building relationships. Don't waste time trying to build your own spreadsheets or stuff like that. As an OOS find a good team and let them run the show while doing your due diligence on their numbers and roles. You will pay a premium for this but at the same time, it's the best way unless you really want to do this full time. 

@Zeke Liston, @Remmington Lyman, @Brandon Goldsmith, and @Kyle Tom: 

Thank you reafco team! If I decide on Columbus, you have my attention as a team that is active in the real estate investing community.

Kyle, I do plan on hiring a PM to manage for me. 

@ Brandon Despras, 

I like your prospective as well. Great lens to view the decision through. I absolutely agree with the latter as well. In order for an OOS investment to work, it is best to find a solid team to work with. Thank you for your input.

@Bill Kenshur , if you're investing in Columbus, the Reafco guys are the way to go. @Marc Rice runs an airBnB company. @Patrick Drury , @Remington Lyman , @Brandon Goldsmith , @Zeke Liston are agents that do a lot of cold calling to find off market deals for investors. They have great recommendations for everyone from home inspectors to insurance agents.

If you're just starting off and you are looking for one of your core four, look no further! 


If you're looking to invest cheap and will stick with it long term, buy a house in the path of progress. You'll get all the cash flow and enjoy the appreciation as the area gets better. For instance, Baltimore has a bad reputation. But there are pockets where the future is bright. Around Johns Hopkins Hospital and University of Maryland are good examples. As long as you have a good property manager and it's not you interacting with the tenants, what do you care if it's a dangerous neighborhood? In Baltimore, investors fight over properties with stable section 8 tenants in place. If your property manager is able to entice someone with a section 8 voucher to stay at your place for years, that's the best case scenario to build your wealth.

I too was in this stage for quiet sometime.   Then I tried to wait out the eviction moratorium.  I selected my city, which has been experiencing a boom in real estate like everywhere else.  I reached out to realtors and property managers.  Being stationed overseas it was more difficult to get in contact with them, but with referrals from here, and interviews with the individuals I feel confident in my team.  Then it was a matter of which realtor could send me cash flow deals.   The first one I worked with put me on a standard mailer, and I received notifications every morning, and would crunch the numbers, however, when I wanted feedback on the neighborhood, or rents in the area he did not quiet communicate this aspect as clearly as my property manager that I had decided on.  I leaned heavily on this property manager, e-mailing every morning, sometimes multiple times a day, with my property location and expectations.  In many cases, she was able to tell me there was no way it would rent for that, or the property already had 10 offers and needs too much rehab to make it cash flow.   We finally found one where the numbers work and I put an offer in yesterday, After researching and learning and analyzing multiple properties for about a year!  I have a feeling I will be outbid on this property, but it is a numbers game.   

You must take the first step and place an offer.   Throw your hat in the ring.  I look forward to finally getting to the point of an inspection.  I'm guessing it is going to take multiple offers on a variety of homes.   Let us know how your journey goes!

@Bill Kenshur

Hi,

Being a newbie myself, I can relate to your problem completely. My 2 cents are that you should talk to a few landlords or property managers in the areas that you are shortlisting for investment. That way you will get to know the ground reality and perhaps get to form a partnership with those people to help manage the properties. You can find people specific to areas via BP networking. Good luck!

- Sg

@Bill Kenshur

Hope you find a good one that meets your goals and criteria but don’t forget eyeballing exit strategies...just in case...

If you buy in ATL but decide to unload a property, I’m happy to put together a quick, easy cash offer for you. Holler at me and we can discuss property specs so you know going into a deal if it’s a good back up plan for you. Could always wholesale it to us or another buyer as a gentler toe wetter too.

Good on ya for being honest with yourself and having the courage to air it on the forum. Sounds like you’re being responsible.

@Joe Nam Do  

Agreed, a strong team can make any neighborhood work. It just depends on the strategy the investor is comfortable with. Aiming for the path of progress is a great approach. Thank you for your input.

@Suraj Gupta

That is a great point. I am trying to be considerate of potential team member’s time by making sure I am more confident in their neighborhood before asking. However, being up front with a PM or Agent about where I am at would allow them to decide how much of their time to dedicate. Thank you.

@Grant Vincent

Grant Vincent – Exit strategies are a must. %100 agree. That is part of the plan. If I land in ATL, I will reach out and we can discuss strategies for that getting into a property with multiple exit opportunities. Thank you for your input and encouragement!

Hi @Bill Kenshur

If you're interested in investing in any market, having a local team in place can be one of the most important factors in making sure your rental property is profitable.

Having worked with Steve Rozenberg, Bigger Pockets contributor, professional real estate investor, and Head of Investment Education at Mynd Management, I've learned that not having a local team can be one of the biggest drains on investors' return on investment.

There are some great ways to source a local team. I'm happy to tell you more if you're interested in investing in the area of Atlanta.