New Member Intro from Ohio!

15 Replies

Hi BP community!

My name is Bridget and my boyfriend and I just recently moved to good ol' Marietta, Ohio. We have been studying for awhile since we found BP but i realized i never made a formal introduction! Well here it is. We are currently saving up money for a down payment on a property. We are interested in investing in small multi families to start, and scaling up from there. We'd like to house-hack a small multi to get some landlording experience and get our feet wet. Right now, aside from educating ourselves through BP, books, etc. we are looking to do two things:

1. Connect with others locally - those investing in Ohio and West Virginia ideally, but I love talking to anyone and finding out how they do what they do and seeing if there's any value i could add. And also discover some REIAs/ RE meet ups near Marietta. So if anyone knows of any or is hosting a meet up somewhat near Marietta, OH, I would love to hear from you!

And 2. Market analysis. We are new to Ohio (although my bf has family here) so we are not too familiar with the areas. We are trying to figure out the best way to cheaply or freely analyze markets and find an area to invest. I do know of some resources that give you data on crime rates, pop. stats, and rents, etc in an area. I also know that talking with other investors about what they do will help too.

Any other suggestions or tips for doing market research?

Any and all feedback is appreciated, thank you in advance!


Hey @Bridget Poston welcome to BP. I am familiar with the Marietta/Parkersburg area. Not a bad area at all imo. As for the data on crime and such, I honestly wouldn't put to much emphasis on that. In our area its all pretty much the same, minus the really nice areas, which are obvious. Our whole region is a C/D area according to the snobs in California. Set your own criteria and rate your neighborhoods/streets based on comparing it to the rest of the local area. 

I think overall we have a great area to invest. We don't make much on appreciation compared to the coastal states, but we have cheap properties that cash flow really well. We also have strong rental markets for various reasons. 

Best of luck to you guys!

@Bridget Poston sounds like you have the right idea!

I'm in Ohio also and I just bought my first duplex to live in one side and rent the other. I'm a Realtor also but I'm more in the Sidney area.. you'll have to let us know how things come along for you guys!

@Bridget Poston . 1) search in BP for anything in Marietta, set up key word alerts for Marietta and Ohio

2) Marietta isn’t that big and most mulitfamily properties for house hacking are probably near the city core, search online and on county auditor website for multi families and rentals, drive and walk the area, look for rental signs and call them, identify multifamily property addresses and research them, network with owners

@Bridget Poston Welcome to the site...Marietta is rural, but its really a bustling area...hard to get around on the weekends because all the traffic, lol...good scenery along the river. There's an extreme shortage of housing in SE Ohio...if you can own it, I guarantee there is a tenant paying top dollar on housing choice of the great things about this business is that you can make it work anywhere (despite what you hear)...

Link up with your local metro housing authority and see what they have to say about the state of things...they can be a great partner. 

@Derrick E. thanks for the reply! That’s nice to hear from someone who is familiar with those areas because our goal is to invest for cash flow, at least right now. 

@Cody Bradley hey that’s awesome, congrats! I hope it works out well for you. How did you find that deal, if you don’t mind me asking?

@Jeff Ronningen I greatly appreciate you listing out some very actionable steps. Will definitely take note of those and implement them.

Thank you guys for the responses and encouragement!

@Bridget Poston I found this one on the MLS. Nobody was biting on it at first because the tenants were being difficult and not letting anyone in. I was able to get into each side at different times and both tenants actually got evicted before I got possession.

@Brandon Sturgill thanks Brandon for the great info and advice. I never thought to talk with a housing authority. If the nearest one is outside my county, do you think they’d still be familiar with - and perhaps offer housing in - counties/areas outside of the one they’re located in? Not really sure how they work so sorry if it’s an obvious question!

@Cody Bradley I was thinking you found it on the MLS since you have access, but thought I'd ask anyway.

Not sure what kind of financing you used, but we were thinking of using an FHA loan if possible. We have read that you need 2 years of a consistent employment track record though, so if that's true, if they're strict about it, then we were planning on waiting a couple years while we save up $ since we just got our jobs. Although we would like to get started earlier if possible.

Do you know anything about that type of loan? Or perhaps another financing option.

@Bridget Poston

I used FHA. From my understanding they do like to see 2 years but I think some lenders will work around that if everything else checks out. Just ask the lender before they run your credit that way you dont hurt yourself by having it ran. FHA was nice because its 3.5% down but closing costs were high. I was fortunate enough to get my seller to pay $4000 in closing costs which gave me less equity to start but it was better than paying out of pocket in my opinion.

Another thing with FHA is you will always have PMI when putting the 3.5% down. It doesnt go away when you hit 20% unless you put 11% down and wait 10 years. I'm not a lender but I believe that's how it goes.

I also got burned because I overlooked the box on the property disclosure that said it was in a flood zone.. it does not flood in this area but since it's in FEMAs flood plane, you need to carry gov. Backed flood insurance which is higher priced than private flood insurance. I found a private policy for around 500 a year but FHA does now allow that so I had to pay around $1400 a year for that. That drove my closing costs up higher. I did represent my self as the agent tho and I got a commission back so that offset the costs some!

@Cody Bradley Okay, thank you Cody, I thought i had heard that some lenders are more lenient than others with requirements so perhaps it's true in this case too. It's nice that the seller paid for your closing costs, do you just ask them flat out if they'd do that for you? I'm sure there's some compromising/negotiating that comes with it though.

I am aware of PMI, but i thought that it wouldn't apply if you put at least 10% down... you're saying you'd still have to pay that insurance for 10 years and then it'd be taken off?

And yikes about that flood insurance, I'll have to be attentive to that/plan for the cost when we do our first deal.

@Brandon Sturgill Thank you for the info Brandon! Much appreciated.

@Bridget Poston

I just usually put in my offer to purchase "seller to pay up to $4000 towards buyers points, pre-paids and closing costs". Your realtor should know how to negotiate that for you!

So on most mortgages if you put 20% down you avoid PMI. You need 20% equity either way to drop this. But with FHA if you put 3.5% down the pmi never goes away unless you refinance. However if you put 10% down, PMI can drop after 11 years into the loan without refinancing. At least that's my understanding. Anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong! That's just what I read and what I was told by my lender.

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