How do you know an area is renting?

4 Replies

As a new investor living in a big city, I find that I am looking at properties in areas that I am not as familiar with. My first investment is in a city 90 miles away near where I grew up and cash flows very well. Even if I am familiar with the area, I keep asking myself :

How do I know this property will rent? School district could be a good indicator, right? but what if the area seems far from employment?

What are people in this area looking for - 1-1? 2-1? 3-1? 3-2?

I assume one of the first answers will be to find a good realtor? Can a good realtor in my area really answer those questions if they aren't familiar with the area? How would I find a good realtor in the area that I am looking? And forgive my distrust but sometimes,,,sometimes... finding a good realtor can be like finding a good car salesman (no offense to the good realtors out there)

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+1 for Zillow rental listings. I'm saving a handful of rental properties in the areas of interest, with the characteristics that I'm considering, then checking back every few days to see if and how long it takes for them to rent out. This way, I might be able to pick up trends such as which areas rent faster, what price per sq. footage is renting, etc.

I'd also make sure to get a hold of local property management companies and perhaps get a valued opinion on property and the area.

But yes, Schools, Employment diverisification/growth, crime

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