I'm looking at a 5 bath 4 bedroom built in 1938 with 3490 square feet in a town of 20,000. The home is priced at $240,000. The house has a great composite deck and no back yard, making it difficult to resale to families with young children. The area is low crime within 5 blocks of a school, grocery store, strip mall and public transportation. The neighboring towns populations of over 100,000.

The home has an attached mother in law 1 bedroom apartment with a separate entrance, heating, cooling storage and laundry room. The home is in tip top shape and the homes in the section of town are well maintained.

The town itself is developing it's downtown area. In the last year they built a concert venue downtown that is drawing attention. The home is 8-10 mins from the downtown area in town and 15 mins from the downtown area of one of the neighboring towns with a larger population.

My greatest concerns are as follows:

1. The house is not in the path of progress. The town is land locked and there and there are a few buildings being refurbished downtown. At least one of the other towns have the ability to develop new construction and grow their community. There are 3 other larger communities developing their downtown area also.

2. The house has been on the market for 19 months and the last time it sold it was on the market for 17 months.

3. If I purchased the home at the list price of $240,000, the house would have increased in value 7% in the last 9 years. Other houses in the area, in larger markets, have increased in value by approx 6% a year (matching the national average).

4. The house does not seem to be in the path of progress and there are other communities that are growing faster.

I am confident that I will be able to rent the attached 1 bedroom but I am concerned about the resale value.

My question:

Is it better to buy a house you can rent now or wait and purchase a house in the path of progress that you can rent out?