In which city would you start your rental property empire?

97 Replies

Deciding which city to buy my first property as I'd like to remain in the same area for a long time for many benefits. I hear Charlotte, Orlando and Vegas are popular!  What is your vote?

Originally posted by @Bjorn Ahlblad :

They are all good, just find the right deal. I started in San Mateo Ca.

 My hometown. Crazy expensive now though. Left before the Dot com era and wish our family had stayed. You can't find anything there now over a million now. 

@David Pai we had a rental west of El Camino, prices were OK in the late 1970's. Then hi-tech came in big and the area went nuts! Don't know if I would start there today, although with the exodus of San Francisco folks it might be a decent time for a flipper.

Originally posted by @Bjorn Ahlblad :

@David Pai we had a rental west of El Camino, prices were OK in the late 1970's. Then hi-tech came in big and the area went nuts! Don't know if I would start there today, although with the exodus of San Francisco folks it might be a decent time for a flipper.

Yea, growing up in bay area during the 80s and 90s I never had the impression it was prime real estate. We lived in redwood shores and we checked our 1400 sqft home and even that is worth 1.8 million now.

I like cash flow, so I started mine in the midwest and am adding properties in the south (after buying two properties in CA in 2012 and 2014, before I was trying to "build an empire"). I'll probably buy more in high prices cities when a significant price correction event occurs.  Timing market phases for your strategy + buying right are your keys to success. 

Originally posted by @Matthew Ruderman :

Deciding which city to buy my first property as I'd like to remain in the same area for a long time for many benefits. I hear Charlotte, Orlando and Vegas are popular!  What is your vote?

One thing to remember is the way you finance a property makes a difference. If you have down payments and can qualify for loans then maybe invest in anywhere is fine. If you are seeking owner financing it could be better to be in person when negotiating and that means being local to where you are. 

For you, Mahwah, NJ. Stay local when you are starting out. It is much less risky. Buying at a distance and turning the property over to a property manager with no personal real estate experience is putting a lot of your hope on a lot of different things going right.

@James Mc Ree I’m currently researching various cities in NJ to present to my partner. Never considered Mahwah. Have any experience there? I was currently looking on the south end towards philly.

This would be my first property and want to stay somewhat close to home, but being in NYC, the conditions here aren’t ideal for my level.

@Michael Marrero I suggested Mahwah, NJ to the OP because that is where he is from.  The idea was to stay local.  That strategy doesn't work so well for someone who can't afford to invest where they are or the properties just don't cash flow.  That could be a problem in Staten Island, NY.  I don't know either location.

Originally posted by @James Mc Ree :

For you, Mahwah, NJ.  Stay local when you are starting out.  It is much less risky.  Buying at a distance and turning the property over to a property manager with no personal real estate experience is putting a lot of your hope on a lot of different things going right.

The problem with my area is north jersey is more expensive and typically doesn't cash flow well.  I would love to stay in my area and if I do find a deal that works then I will.  But to be consistent in one area is my goal right now.

Originally posted by @David Pai :
Originally posted by @Bjorn Ahlblad:

@David Pai we had a rental west of El Camino, prices were OK in the late 1970's. Then hi-tech came in big and the area went nuts! Don't know if I would start there today, although with the exodus of San Francisco folks it might be a decent time for a flipper.

 Yea, growing up in bay area during the 80s and 90s I never had the impression it was prime real estate. We lived in redwood shores and we checked our 1400 sqft home and even that is worth 1.8 million now.

 How much was the average home there in the 90s, before dotcom times?

@Matthew Ruderman, a couple items I look at which are transportation and job growth as factors to steady to strong rentals. Also, I look at the lending capabilities in the Region, are there strong options in my buying power and banking relationships. Regards, Joe Scorese

@Matthew Ruderman oh yea, understandable. I wouldn't really want to do that either but didn't realize you were married. I would stay local for my first one, just venturing to a different state now for my 4th buy and hold. Perhaps look in Passaic county vs Bergen?

@Ujwal Velagapudi Austin is a great town and growing fast. Property taxes are the thing to watch out for. I’m a local Realtor in Austin - let me known if you’d like to chat about investment properties. Always happy to help & run the numbers 👍 - Scott McCord