Is Iowa a landlord friendly state?

9 Replies

@Quinn Falk interesting question.  Depends on your investment  strategy.  

1) call the agent to answer all your questions.  

2) Zillow  has a  crime map. Use google map do a quick virtual view.

3) Do the local and market reaserch let the  fingers do the walk.  Google local news and city-data.com for the City.  You can call local city, police Dept and post office - ask the people who deliver mails in the area about the property and  neighborhood environment of subject property.  

4) If I live near by, drive around and talk to the  neighbors.   Or just ask current tentants or the property manager , pretending you want to rent the room, have a walk through. 

That should give u a bisic idea.

@Sherry Gao Quinn was asking if it is a landlord friendly state, not how to determine if a neighborhood is a good area.

@Quinn Falk I own a property in Iowa, but have not had to test the laws. From discussion with other investors and the management company Iowa is mostly in the middle... not tenant friendly, but not super landlord friendly either. Here is a quick article I found with various levels of friendliness per state that also agrees with the opinions of those I have spoken with:
https://www.rentcafe.com/blog/renting/states-best-...

 I own a few properties in Iowa and have friends with properties in multiple Iowa cities. I'd agree with @Bryan O. Iowa is in the middle. But, I'd also add that it varies by city. Some cities are much less friendly to property investors. So, do the research and ask investors with properties in specific cities.

@Quinn Falk my company manages over 300 units in the Waterloo Cedar Falls area. It changes county to county how landlord-friendly it is, but overall Iowa is quite landlord friendly. it does come down to how strong your lease is and how good your property management company is as well.

@Charles Willie Harris It might seem overwhelming and a bit daunting to get started. I love BP. It was very helpful in getting me started. But, I also purchased an education package from Robert Kiyosaki's training program. RK's training helped me understand different ways to invest in real estate. It's not all just residential, single-family-home investing.

I'd highly recommend Brandon Turner's book, "The Book on Investing in Real Estate with..." It's in the BP book store here: https://www.biggerpockets.com/... That introduces you to several different types of real estate investing. But, reading the book is a bit like licking the ice cream cone. One taste and you just want more. It's a starter book, and you will become acquainted with concepts and terms while being inspired by Brandon's enthusiasm. 

If you haven't yet read "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Kiyosaki, do so as soon as you can. Consider his book, "Cash Flow Quadrant" as a must read, but at a lower priority than the other 2 I mentioned.

I've basically had to set aside almost all business activities for about 9 months now; leaving rentals rented and unable to pursue anything new for awhile. Something that I should be able to turn around during the rest of the year.

I'd recommend finding a local REI group. I suspect you will have success finding one in your area. You might consider the IA Landlord Association as well.

https://www.iareia.org/

BP has a small list of Iowa clubs as well: 

https://www.biggerpockets.com/rei/iowa-real-estate-investment-clubs/

Take these steps and see what piques your interest. That will help guide you to explore other areas of interest.

Want more? Let me know.

I had family evict a "nightmare" tenant in Iowa, and it certainly was not easy.  Without getting too much into the details, I would agree with the assessment that it is a middle of the road state.  While Iowa, statutorily speaking, appears to be a fairly Landlord friendly state (can cancel MtM leases without cause, etc.), it really depends on the judge you get.  One aspect that is not landlord friendly is the fact that even after you have judgment for eviction, you will have to go back to court to get a forcible entry detainer to actually enforce the eviction if the tenant refuses to move out after a couple of days.  You as the landlord have to ensure that the move out process is orderly (hire a moving company, etc.).

Originally posted by @Ron Rohrssen :

@Charles Willie Harris It might seem overwhelming and a bit daunting to get started. I love BP. It was very helpful in getting me started. But, I also purchased an education package from Robert Kiyosaki's training program. RK's training helped me understand different ways to invest in real estate. It's not all just residential, single-family-home investing.

I'd highly recommend Brandon Turner's book, "The Book on Investing in Real Estate with..." It's in the BP book store here: https://www.biggerpockets.com/... That introduces you to several different types of real estate investing. But, reading the book is a bit like licking the ice cream cone. One taste and you just want more. It's a starter book, and you will become acquainted with concepts and terms while being inspired by Brandon's enthusiasm. 

If you haven't yet read "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Kiyosaki, do so as soon as you can. Consider his book, "Cash Flow Quadrant" as a must read, but at a lower priority than the other 2 I mentioned.

I've basically had to set aside almost all business activities for about 9 months now; leaving rentals rented and unable to pursue anything new for awhile. Something that I should be able to turn around during the rest of the year.

I'd recommend finding a local REI group. I suspect you will have success finding one in your area. You might consider the IA Landlord Association as well.

https://www.iareia.org/

BP has a small list of Iowa clubs as well: 

https://www.biggerpockets.com/rei/iowa-real-estate-investment-clubs/

Take these steps and see what piques your interest. That will help guide you to explore other areas of interest.

Want more? Let me know.

 That's amazing info, thanks! I've already started on BRandon's book and I'm watching a lot of his videos as well. I sat in on a few Kiyosaki webinars and I intend on checking out his books in the next month or so.

I'd love to start pursuing sooner rather than later. It would be great to find a partner that I can team up with for my first investment, BRRRR or house flip so that I can reduce my risk and learn sooner.

I've been toying with the idea of getting into rental properties for a few years. I am researching and considering stepping into this in the next year. I am looking into two smaller markets near me (you know how the small towns in Iowa are) as starts. I have a few properties in mind to look into but haven't reached out to an agent yet. I guess what I am wondering is if I'm looking at getting into this at the wrong time or the wrong markets.

One is a college town, prices are higher, but better quality buildings overall I'd say, and slightly higher rent prospects, but I'm not sure how to handle the college side of it (as that is the majority of renters).

The other is a town with little growth not a ton of job options locally, the class of buildings aren't as attractive overall, but the market seems a bit better for starting out price wise for multi family/commerical type scenarios, but I'm concerned about the type of tenants I'd attract with lower value buildings. Single family units that don't need a ton of work are priced on the high side of the market as well.

I've seen opinions on both starting with single family homes and multi family. The wife and I both have careers that keep us pretty busy and traveling on occasion, so we will most likely need a property manager/contractors up front. This makes me lean toward multi tenant to justify the cost - however that also comes with an increased up front cost as well as way more up front crash course learning with the business and tenants themselves.

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