How far is local?

8 Replies

Hi all,

So I am planning to become a buy and hold investor but living in in nyc cash flow is very tight so I am thinking about opening my search radius.  I was just wondering what each of you consider local either in miles or time driving.  For me, I'm thinking that local is about an hour drive but I also understand that any further a PM would be required.  

So what are your thoughts? 

I'm thinking the same way your are and I would say about an hour to 2 hours would not be to far off and you can finds a lot of nice probertys out side the NY metro area

I would consider also where you know markets or where you have a support system.  I invest where I have family and or a base of contractors that I can call. Also consider the infrastructure.  For example, if you want a steady stream of tenants you could look for areas surrounding hospitals in Northern PA. 

Hi Angel,

I think “local” is a relative term. I know people who drive 2 hours to work and another 2 hours going home each day. To me that is insane, to them it is no big deal! I think there are several factors to take into account. For example, if you were planning to flip a house then you might need to go at least once a week if not more to the property. If it is a buy and hold of a commercial property then it might not require as much time at the property. My dad manages mobile homes that are over 2 hours away each way and travels to the properties once every several years. It all depends on how, what, and who you manage. That being said I consider local within a 15 minute drive or 8 mile radius from my house. If I found a great deal outside of that of course I would take it, but I am focusing on single family houses near my house that way if I have to show a house to a potential tenant I can be there anytime. If I were buying a mobile home park I would say anywhere within a 6-10 hour drive each way, because you won’t have to go that often.

-John

Originally posted by @Michael Roy:

I would consider also where you know markets or where you have a support system. I invest where I have family and or a base of contractors that I can call. Also consider the infrastructure. For example, if you want a steady stream of tenants you could look for areas surrounding hospitals in Northern PA. 

Great points Michael.  I did not consider utilzing infrastructure as a focal point and search criteria.  Unfortunately, all of my family is centralized in my area which I do not want to invest in.  I have no information on any markets which is why im very open to hearing about different opinions so that I may narrow down my focus.  Fortunately, I think the tenant laws in NY are more on the tenant side than in most countries so maybe PA or NJ may provide viable options.

Originally posted by @John Hyatt :

I know people who drive 2 hours to work and another 2 hours going home each day. To me that is insane, to them it is no big deal! I think there are several factors to take into account.

Im with you on these 2 hours is completly unreasonable for work each day.  That's literally a part time job.  My boss does this commute and I can't ever fathom having to deal with this. 

I am not looking to do flips, I am looking to focus on MF or SF buy and hold for cash flow purpose so I would be willing to travel 2 hours in each direction as I would hopefully not have to visit the site too much if (BIG IF) I find a good PM.

We are buy and hold too in the Atlanta area.  At first 20 minutes was far, then the Hedge funds moved in, out of towners then out of country'ers, we moved our buying to 1 hr, now the farthest is 3 hours.  To mitigate remote management pain we moved to rent to own, seller financing after 12 months at the 1 hour away radius.  We never hear from anyone unless the roof leaks or the AC broke.  No problem, that's just a phone call or TXT message to remedy.

curt

@Angel Rosado - you mentioned using a PM - if that is the case, then drive-time should be a non-issue, barring the occasional inspection you may want to do.  If you self-manage, then the question is:  do you plan to do your own repairs?  If so, then you should prepare for possibly frequent trips.

In our case, we are in DFW and open to investing across the metroplex;  that means up to 60 miles or so and an hour drive to get from where we live to the other side of the area.  Our farthest rental is 50 miles away, and about an hour in decent traffic.  BUT, we do not do our own repairs - we have a good list of contractors/handy men/etc that we outsource to.  We go to the property a few times a year to check things out.  I will do the occasional minor repair myself if it is off-cycle to our inspections, as that allows me to get into the property and see how everything looks.  But we keep that to a minimum.

So to your question:  local for me is the broader DFW metroplex - 60+ miles//easily an hour's drive. 

Andy