Investment Location Rent vs. Own

7 Replies

Hi, first time here and just getting started in rental property investing. I'm looking to target my old hometown in Massachusetts (I live in CA now) as my rental investment location. However, the renters percentage is 18% (vs. 82% own). Should I consider this a deterrent for this location? Additionally, I don't see many SFR properties available for rent today. Again, should this be considered a good or bad thing? Higher demand?

Appreciate your thoughts. 

Hey Mark, this is an interesting situation. I don't think this should be a huge issue. To get a real test for demand, I would post ads on craigslist for an SFR and see how many people respond to the post. If the numbers make sense and the demand is there from quality tenants, then you should be okay.

Normally a high percentage of owners is a good thing as it usually means the neighborhood is stable and a place where people want to live long term.  The only exception I would see to this is if houses are extremely inexpensive ($65,000 or less) meaning most people who have decent credit would qualify to own instead of rent.

Thanks for the feedback. Good suggestion for Craigslist ad. Also, yes, this is a very family oriented town/neighborhood with above average schools. Housing ranges between $150 - $300K. 

If that is the case and the area has good schools and a high percentage of home ownership it is likely a high demand area that people who can't afford to buy yet would love to live in.

Hey Mark! I would recommend calling a property management firm or two around the area and asking them about the rentability in that area. I actually just wrote an article on this exact thing, I think it came out yesterday-

Having a rental property in a primarily owner-occupied area can be great- higher quality tenant pool potentially, better exit strategy options, etc. But, if it goes too far on the owner-occupied side (like the property of mine I describe in the article), you may have a hard time finding renters. A property manager would know exactly how easy it is to rent properties there since that's their full-time gig and I think they'd have the best knowledge to offer you.

Hope that helps!

Hi Mark, I'm an agent and an investor in MA. What towns are you referring to? Let me know what you're looking for and I'd be glad to help. Most investors want to invest in multi families to get more than one rental income. On a single family if the tenant is late with the rent or doesn't pay you still need to pay your mortgage vs on a 2-4 units you have other tenants paying the rent. 

Hi @Corey Melkonian the primary location is Townsend. Potential secondary locations would be Pepperell or Ashby. 

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