Just wanting to reach out and find out who currently owns properties in different cities or even states? More specifically do you manage them yourself? How about finding new tenants and showing the property? Anything that you found that works well or to watch out for?
I ask as I live in Des Moines, IA and have a few multi-family homes here. I am originally from the Minneapolis, MN area and may eventually move back. If/When I move back I'd like to start buying real estate up there too as I have family and investors ready to go already. The driving distance is about 4 hours one way. Not great but not terrible. I am hoping to have properties in both places one day but want to make sure this is not a costly mistake. Thoughts, suggestions?
I've only owned properties outside of my local area (and outside of my state even). I really enjoy it. And I always use a property manager. I can't imagine landlording myself from that far of a distance, not unless I have a perfect tenant in a good condition home. I was in that situation once and it was fine, but I've never had another tenant as low maintenance as she was either. In only did it between property managers.
Every one has different preferences and comfort levels though on how much control they want over their own preferences, so that is something you'll want to know about yourself or at least try to get a feel for. There is no wrong answer, just whatever suits you best.
Ali, thanks for the reply. I knew that it isn't something uncommon but just like getting a real persons perspective. I have no problem hiring a property manager, however I will probably manage my own when I live near by. Thanks again for the reply. I can not feel comfortable and continue with my plan in two locations!
I wrote a blog post on this a while back: http://www.biggerpockets.com/blogs/4837/blog_posts/35033-the-dangers-of-investing-out-of-state, out-of-state investing can work, but it's very risky. I've seen a lot of people lose their shirt on it.
My husband and I own a triplex locally that we self-manage, and 2 fourplexes in AZ for which we have a PM. I personally would not feel comfortable owning in another state without a PM.
The key is to make sure you get a good PM. There are lots of threads and articles here on BP about finding a good PM, definitely worth checking out.
Thanks all for the replies. I am fortunate in that all of the properties that I am buying are in places that I am familiar with, markets that I know, and even people that I know. I have the connections to PM's, realtors, and all of the "on-call" services already. So the risk is low other than just not being readily available in short order if I am in the other state.
I'm in the same situation as well. We own a triplex here in Des Moines too! and we are moving to Central Florida by the end of the summer.
Since we wanted to keep the property, we hired a property management company and tried it for a while. This allowed me to see if it's something that would work out long distance while we are still here. So far we had some issues mostly communication (which will be very important once we aren't here). Right now we are trying another company and so far we haven't had any issues with them.
Depending on where you buy and the whether or not you can get high quality tenants in your properties you may be able to make it work without a property manager. I know for my property (and older triplex in not the nicest area of town) I wouldn't be able to manage it remotely.
Alejandro, thanks for your insight. Maybe we should try to get together in person sometime. I'd like to know who you use for PM. Or maybe, I never end up moving and I can help PM your properties for a much lower rate than a company charges (we both win). Anyway, I am just rambling and maybe it would be good to connect anyway.
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