Any love for West Virginia?

5 Replies

Hello all, I’m an aspiring investor coming up in central WV, and also just passed my exams for my WV real estate license. I’ve been trolling the BP forums for a while now, but see almost nothing on BiggerPockets about West Virginia. I wanted to ask a few questions: 1) Are there any investors on BP from West Virginia? I’ve used the ZIP code search to find members near me, but can’t seem to find any within 50 miles of me. 2) Is there any interest in WV from out-of-state investors? There are several markets near me where you can pick up the standard 3/1.5 or 3/2 in B - C+ areas for around $50-70k on the MLS (I’m sure lower for mailers or marketers), and the average rents in those areas are between $700-$800. Not quite 2% rule at list price,but still cash flows for sure. There also seems like there is room to flip homes in the B+ and A areas, but after looking at recent sales, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of flips going on. 3) Most of the podcasts and articles I’ve heard and read work with evaluating hot markets (or at least high-volume ones). Are there any good resources for valuing homes in slow or low-volume markets from an investment perspective? It seems like a whole different beast working in a town of less than 20,000 people as opposed to one of 100,000+. Thanks, Tim Doenges (Soon-to-be Re/MAX agent!!)

Hey @Timothy Doenges , I am originally from Beckley and still invest there.   From my experience most people do not want anything to do with investing in WV from outside the state, unless they are from there like me.   A good resource not all people are familiar with is the WV Landlord Association.    

Hey, thank you for the great resource! I will definitely have to check out one of the monthly meetings.

Beckley is one of my target areas, actually. There are a lot of cool things going on in he area that lead me to believe it is going to start growing in the next few years, both in size and income. Very unique situation from the rest of the state.

Do you think there is a stigma that keeps people out of WV, or is it just that properties here don’t meet their criteria for markets to invest in?

@Timothy Doenges I am from WV and have a couple of properties in the Eastern Panhandle and my guess would be that most of WV doesn't fit peoples criteria. For example, what is job growth like? How many employers are there? If one goes away, what happens to the local economy? Is the population growing? 

These are just a few examples and from what I know, most of WV doesn't meet a lot of investors criteria. 

@Timothy Doenges We've been investing in the Charleston and Huntington WV markets for about 10 years now. We mainly do rehab and resells, but we do have some commercial properties and single / multi family rentals. My take on WV is that for the most part it is a slow but stable market. We do not see the highs or lows in property values found in other markets.

Like other areas of the country, location and price point are key to finding the right properties. With the recent drug infestation in our region and overall decline in population, the quality of tenants have deteriorated in the last 2 years. However, if you have the right systems and processes in place along with well maintained properties, you can attract decent tenants.

Most out of state investors shy away from WV due to the decline in population, size of the WV markets, and future prospects for job growth, but there is still opportunity to make money. I can see alot of possible potential in central and northern WV with the announcement by China Energy to invest in WV up to 85 billion over the next 20 years in natural gas related activities. I just don't anticipate a big boom to occur overnight.

Hey all! Thanks for the replies. As always, I find the best info out on BiggerPockets.

As the China Energy deal goes, my understanding is that is going to be invested mostly in the Ohio Valley area, including southeast Ohio, western WV, southwestern PA, and then possibly some near Charleston. Sounds like it will have a great effect up in your neck of he woods, but it remains to be seen if south-central WV will get any of that money.

Also, great points about knowing the area and job market. There are a lot of economic indicators that lead me to believe that my market is going to grow, both with major job market improvements and communities on the mend from the drug crisis. I’m going to keep an eye on it, but I think that I can get cash flow and appreciation in my area if I’m correct.

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