Newbie Introduction - Chico/Sacramento area

7 Replies

Hello BiggerPockets Community! My name is Jennifer and I have been following along with the BiggerPockets Podcast for months, studying up and getting excited about making my first deal! Now, I'm reaching out to all of you for help and market-specific information.

I am looking to invest in the Chico or Sacramento area. Ideally, I'd like to do a house-hacking deal. Any input or advice for these markets would be much appreciated - also would love to connect with potential partners in these areas.

A little bit about me...I am currently based in Santa Cruz, CA and work as a substitute teacher. I have been working seasonally as a biologist/substitute teacher for several years and therefore have a somewhat inconsistent employment history (I'm wondering how this will affect my chances of getting a loan?), however, I do have a significant amount of cash saved (about $35,000). Most of this was from an insurance settlement. I am hoping to secure a higher-paying, more permanent job in the chico/sac area before making the plunge to invest, but I am also very excited about getting started and want to make my first deal ASAP. 

I've been watching the housing market in chico for over a year (I started paying attention a few months before the Paradise fire), and believe it could be a good place to get started. However, I've read a few posts on this forum that say Chico is a hard place to cash flow, which is ultimately what I'm looking for (especially after house-hacking for a year). Does anyone have any input on this matter?

Thanks in advance for your help! :) 

@Jennifer Rieke Welcome! Chico is hard to cash flow but then again many areas in California are. There are some potential deals in town if you live in one of the units of a multi family or 2-4 unit property. Sacramento has MUCH more opportunity for you professionally/investment wise. Chico is a real cool place though. Depends on what kind of lifestyle you want. Chico is a smaller town which some people like. The surrounding towns are even smaller and not much of an economy. The North Valley is HOT as well compared to Sac and where you are at this moment. Good luck and keep us posted.

@Jennifer Rieke

You should read David Greene’s two books if you haven’t already because they’ll spell out exactly how you can build up a lot of cashflow and equity in the most efficient way possible (which is out of state). Any sort of house hack you can do to save up money in the meantime to invest later is good progress though. Even if you don’t cashflow, you’ll be saving money to use later :) good luck!!

@Jennifer Rieke

Welcome to Bigger Pockets!

This is a great place to learn and network. A lot of forum members are very knowledgeable in their respective fields related to real estate investing, whether that is real estate sales, wholesaling, flipping, rentals, lending, self-directed IRA and Solo 401k investing, or tax and legal guidance.

Discounts on some products and services are offered to BP members:

If you haven’t been to it already, you might want to check out the BP blog:

The site has quite a few tools that can be helpful for new members. I like the search features:

Hi @Jennifer Rieke welcome to BP. Luckily tomorrow's podcast episode is ALL about the power of house hacking. It's a great way to start because you'll be working with a real estate agent who can guide you through the home buying process, rather than navigating the minefield of trying to find an off-market deal on your own.

Getting a bank loan might be tricky without a consistent source of income, but perhaps there's someone who trusts you enough to co-sign -- in effect guaranteeing the mortgage will be paid (parents?). Don't worry about your next step after house hacking -- just focus 100% on finding the house hack and make sure the rent covers the mortgage. You can also Airbnb your place if you're ever traveling for a little extra cash. Be sure to turn on keyword alerts for your area. Best of luck!

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