New Real Estate Investor in Kalamazoo, Michigan

6 Replies

Hello! I am a new real estate investor in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and I am on the hunt for my first rental property. I'm posting for a few reasons:

(1) I'd love to connect with other investors or real estate professionals in the West Michigan area. Please reach out if you would like to connect!

(3) I'd also love to hear locals opinions about the best place to invest. There are lots of available properties in the Edison neighborhood but I am weary of the crime/tenant turnover, etc. What are your thoughts on college student housing?

Thank you in advance and wish me luck!


Updated almost 2 years ago

Apparently my #2 completely disappeared! My #2 question was asking for recommendations for property managers and contractors in the area as well!

welcome to the site, I'm up in Grand Rapids and make it down that way often.

About a dozen or so investors from the zoo on here!!!

Great area for rentals, best of luck

@Cristina Babaris Hi Cristina. I also invest in Grand Rapids with buy and hold. I know a few investors who do invest in Kalamazoo but that’s mainly just for cash flow. I personally am of the opinion that Grand Rapids will appreciate a lot more than Kalamazoo, and I am still able to cash flow about 100$ positive per month so I am very happy with this market.

I have properties in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, and Holland. I began buying in this area in 2016. There used to be good cash flow deals on every other corner. Those days are over in GR. Kalamazoo is the place to invest right now as it's much less competitive and year over year appreciation in many neighborhoods is every bit as much as GR-- at least according to the stats I've seen. GR is it unbeatable if you can find a deal where the numbers work.

Hi! I am also new to investing in the Kalamazoo area. Plenty of research and studying but I really need to take action now! I would like to be able to connect with anyone who can help, give advice, maybe help work out a deal with someone? I am torn between moving into another house with my fiancee and kids and renting out our current one or staying and buying a multi unit in our area otsego, plainwell, allegan or even Kalamazoo. 

I invest in Kalamazoo and will say it's a challenge if you're looking in the historic district. There are A LOT of issues that come out of left field if you're not accustomed to historic district guidelines. The only maintenance issues you can do on your own (exterior) is Painting, Planting, and Pavement so generally speaking everything else needs to be approved. Windows are my biggest issue on rehabs good luck "replacing" them. You need to have them rebuilt which is ridiculous for pricing and even then turn the pages on a calendar if you do want to pay the price because it takes awhile. My other issue is the homeless and the obvious things that come along with that. The Police in the area are AWESOME and respond VERY quickly to any issues but they can only do so much based on the standards the city allows. I have had A LOT of nightmare scenarios i could write a book on. If you would be scared to walk the streets at night and don't have the ability to do daily checks i would stay away from the historic district if you're buying a value add property. The returns are AWESOME but I am very hands on and very accustomed to actively removing individuals from my properties, garages, attics, porches etc...I have a saying "If it's vacant, It's game on". On a positive note i love these old homes,they have great returns and the area really is coming around. I see a lot of young investors such as myself are buying these properties and fixing them up, raising  rents, and moving in a new tenant base. There are new apartment buildings going up and there has been major investment by nearby business so if you can handle the rain for a bit you will enjoy the sunshine a few years from now. 

As far as tenant turn over i don't see much as rents are somewhat lower in the historic district unless you're buying a completely rehabbed building. Rents i see are generally $600-$800 for decent 1-2 bedroom. They go up from there and some are lower, again it depends on the building and its location. I personally stay away from the north-side and focus mainly in the historic areas of the Vine neighborhood and the Edison area. Tenant base also usually stays put as they are lower income and can't really afford to move so it's a pretty safe environment from consistent turn over. I do not do student housing so i can't speak to that. It's not that i am opposed to that i just don't have any students. Overall It's a challenge but real estate is what i love and all i ever wanted to do so i deal with it with a smile on my face and enjoy the 3% rule. Good luck to you           

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