Looking into Bakersfield CA properties, any locals

5 Replies

Hello new to bigger pockets. Looking to purchase in within the next 3 months in the city of Bakersfield CA. Up to 600k purchase price. Will self manage property. Wondering if anybody if from the city and tips in area of city in Where to beware. I've been to Oildale and seen how many don't like "outsiders " there. I'm Mexican but I'm not afraid of investing in that neighborhood if the deal makes sense and the numbers add up. I've seen some deals in there that catch my attention and wondering if anybody here has very good reasons why not to invest there. I know there is many other areas in the city that can be better but if I get a very good return on my money in a deal there I am open to it. Let me know thanks

I personally will only invest in an area where I feel safe going alone at night and my wife feels safe going alone during the day.  Some areas of oildale do not meet this standard for me.   Most of the cheaper areas of Bakersfield are pretty rough.  

Properties in the lower cost areas may look better on paper but once you factor in vacancy, true turn over costs, and cap ex, things don't look as good.

I have been in a few nice multi-family properties in oildale but most are pretty rough and have major issues with deferred maintenance. 

That said, the fundamentals are pretty solid in Bakersfield and Kern county. You can actually still get cash-flow and the area is growing.  

You might want to consider certain areas of East Bakersfield and Downtown, as there is improvement happening in these neighborhoods. I live in East Bakersfield myself and I love it but I am a bit bias since I was raised on this side of Bakersfield. There are still pockets I would not recommend, especially since there is crime, lower rents, and high turnover. I am not too familiar with Oildale, but I have heard of other investors having success with rentals in that area. What particular size of property are you interested in purchasing? 

@Rudy Avila

Don't be fooled by high nominal returns. The crappier the neighborhood the juicier those nominal returns always look, but the wider the gap between nominal and actual returns. If you only manage to collect 9 months of rent a year followed by a nasty protracted eviction after which a tenant leaves your property thrashed, those returns start to look a bit different.

I would be careful investing in certain parts of Oildale. Like @Gene Hacker mentioned, many of the properties in those areas are in bad shape and bad neighborhoods. My biggest concern though would be the heavy drug use in that area. There is always someone around either asking for money, riding a bike, or pushing a random shopping cart that will make you feel uncomfortable. 

I'd take a look as far north in Oildale as possible. Preferably north of W. China Grade Loop and in between Airport Dr. and N. Chester Ave. There is new construction going on and that part of town seems like a better investment option. 

Another area to avoid would be around the cottonwood area. Pretty rough neighborhoods there.

Hope this helps and good luck on your future investments.

@Rudy Avila , at 600k for a multi family unit (I’m assuming) you will have a lot of great options! 

You need to decide what youre focuses more on, cash flow or appreciation. Properties with higher cash flow do tend to be in lower end areas & don’t appreciate as much as say something in the Southwest, which would likely appreciate a lot over time, but not return much cash flow. 

I have 2 rentals that I manage myself, so For someone like you who wants to self manage, I would really look for properties that are in good/ newer condition. Even if it’s in a bad area, not having to call & coordinate repairmen & your tenants & cut 100-400$ checks every month is SO worth it. 

If you ever have any questions, I work with a lot of investors and can definitely help you find something. 

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