North Carolina Market, Greenville vs Raleigh

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I'm currently debating between two markets. Raleigh NC and Greenville, Nc. I'm from Norfolk VA so either would be new to me but both seem very different and unique from the other. I've been a full time investor since 2002. I own a construction and residential building co. and currently own and manage a 220 unit community in Rocky Mt, Nc (geographically between Raleigh and Greenville and the reason I moved from Va to NC). The rental market in Rocky Mt is pretty soft so I need to look elsewhere for opportunity to grow. Thus the debate to enter either the Raleigh or Greenville markets. Any personal experiences or thoughts would be welcomed.

@Brian Corbett could tell you about the Greenville Market. But @Dawn Brenengen is correct. Raleigh is the hot Market for any type of real estate buy and holds would benefit you anywhere near the research triangle park or RDU area in general! Deals aren't scarce in Raleigh but they are hard to come by as opposed to Greenville but Greenville's market is strong due to the hospital having resident students and because of ECU!! Hope this helps! 

Raleigh is a hard market with inventory low. A lot of people are looking in Durham as a good place to get deals. Greenville seems to have a good inventory of duplexes at fair price. Greenville will always have a need for rentals with the college and hospital but the rents seem a lot lower. Raleigh is booming and has a need for housing.

The Durham market definitely has more inventory than Raleigh at the moment! With the new boutique hotels and businesses looking to plant roots in the downtown Durham area, there are lots of opportunity to buy at lower prices right now. Places near Duke University and the hospital are great investment opportunities too!

@Ben Braddock , Durham is a great place to start off, especially the east side as things are still cheap there so there's a great potential for large profit margins.  But get to know the areas well because things change every block, quick.  But long term, Durham is the place to be and you won't go wrong there.  Raleigh has pretty much came but there are still deals to be had, just like anywhere if you can find them.  Good luck!

I would definitely say to invest in the Raleigh/Durham area. While Greenville might have a stable market and people constantly coming and going I think you will see much more growth and appreciation from properties in the Triangle.

Thanks for all the feed back. From what I have seen the ROI's seem very similar in Raleigh to Greenville based on cash flow but I would expect greater appreciation in Raleigh over time. The barrier to entry is higher in Raleigh than it is in Greenville as well even if the ROI seems about the same.

Raleigh has higher prices but higher rents and strong demand

Greenville has lower prices balanced off by lower rents and steady demand

Do you think Raleigh can continue to grow the same as it has over the last 10 years?

Originally posted by @Ben Braddock :

Do you think Raleigh can continue to grow the same as it has over the last 10 years?

 That's the million dollars question that everyone would like to answer for their market ...

I'm sure if you ask people if the market they are invested in will continue to grow, most will say "of course". I'm invested in the Raleigh market and I have no doubt he will continue to yield good profits for me. If it doesn't, I will just need to adapt. Maybe sell, or lower the rents or use some other real estate strategies (lease options, ... etc) ...Here is what I have learned and maybe it can help you going forward.

-Create a "Ben Braddock" -investment index (which would be the criteria that need to be met, for you to jump into a specific investment/market). Some people value cash flow, others value long term appreciation, most use a combination of those, ... etc. Some like to at the state political leanings (landlord friendly state? town? county?). I use a combination of all. Another factor that's important is demographics. Are your renters more likely to be students? Retail workers? Engineers? Doctors, ... etc.  

-Evaluate each one of your investments every year to see if they still meet your Investment Index.

-Have an exit strategy. How do you get out, if a particular investment doesn't meet you criteria anymore?

Personally, I like the Raleigh market. Some pockets are more promising than others, of course. I have lived here for over 15 years. I drive neighborhoods of interests at least once a month. I read the newspapers and follow the town council meetings to see what decisions are made and how they might impact my investments short or long term..