Hey guys, I'm a real estate closing attorney in Atlanta, but I grew up in rural North Georgia. I'm looking to buy my first investment property in the next six months, and I'm considering focusing on more rural markets. Anybody have any experience investing in the more rural counties of Georgia (particularly North Georgia), and willing to share their (good and/or bad) experiences? Thanks!
I look around north Metro Atl area, not rural but any time I expand out I find it very difficult to understand property values. If you're looking to flip/BRRRR I would probably link up with some good rural agents that can run CMAs for ya.
I know you can do some cool things like leasing a part of your land for horse housing (probably better term for this) but people pay a LOT to keep their horses somewhere
Hey Brady, I have been in property management for some time and as well have lived in and around Atlanta my whole life. Can you guess where I took this picture? I am not sure how rural you are interested in looking. As far as buy and hold, or BRRRR, Buford and Gainesville can be some great areas to look. Buford city has one of the best school districts in GA. When you look further out of the city it seems you have less competition at foreclosure auction as well. Even less with the Attorney auctions. I was looking at an investment property in Gainesville yesterday. Contained several rental homes as well as two unused chicken barns. If you wanted to get creative you could contract with one of the major chicken processors in Gainesville and find a tenant who can manage the operation. You do not need to be in Atlanta to find a good rental. Main factors I would look at would be your COC return, potential for added value on the property, quality of employers in the area, future plans for development, school districts, etc.. Feel free to DM me, would enjoy reviewing anything that you find interesting
@Richie Choy thank you for that advice. I will be sure to work with rural agents to run CMAs. Also, I have never thought about leasing land to hold other people's horses, but I really like that idea and will keep that in mind when I'm looking for deals. Thanks!
Hi @Russell Schoepf . Thank you for the advice! I really like the idea of less competition at foreclosure auctions, and that may be one of my bigger motivations for seeking more rural buy and holds. I have a family in and around Blue Ridge, Hiawassee, and Blairsville, so I'm focusing on those rural areas. But, I live in east cobb, so Gainesville and Buford are quick drives for me too so I will start marketing and looking at deals over there too! I really like the idea of contracting with chicken processors and investing that way, so I will definitely keep that in mind for the future. Thanks!
Hey Brady, If you want to dive deeper into Hall County and surrounding areas, feel free to contact me. We evaluate real estate deals for RE investors and private lenders in Hall, Banks & Habersham. I have found rural areas in growth corridors to be profitable. My advice when wading into a new area is Don't Buy Potential; Buy Performance. Let your first few investments be singles and doubles. Once you learn the area and market, then you can swing for the fences.
@Lamon Warnock Awesome, Lamon! I appreciate the advice!
I am a buy-and-hold investor in Rome, Georgia. We aren't as rural as the counties you are talking about, but thought I'd pitch in.
A few things I've found (I have 12 properties with 15 total units in Floyd County):
-Nothing that rents for <$550 / month, Tenants are just not good at paying.
-Forget MLS right now, but there are lots of old mom & pop rental owners that may be looking to exit. I wrote letters and ended up buying a triplex from a couple who couldn't maintain the property anymore and the wife was too nice to collect rent. Lots of work on these types of property, but atleast you can force some appreciation. I also bought an owner financing note from them that wasn't getting paid on, foreclosed on it, and the borrower sold the house and paid off the note (100% gain in 3 months).
-I may buy a cabin to rent on AirBNB because my wife and I like to rent cabins to get away and it would be nice to have our own. Maybe consider that instead of long term tenants.
-Major employers seem to be healthcare, so if there's a hospital you can get quality tenants in rural areas.
-Small towns seem to be dominated by a few locals with money who have been investing in rentals for decades. Maybe reach out to take away some headache properties from them, clean them up, and make them work for you.
Of course, who the heck knows what is going to happen with this virus / foreclosures / job markets / housing markets.
Hello Brady. I live in Canton. I've been working with this stuff got a while now. I follow the BRRRR process on my own holdings. Not many properties, but working on it. I'm a Clemson grad, fluent in Spanish, GA Reg. Forester, GARE License, and just passed my test for GA GC unlimited commercial license. Getting in all the paperwork as we speak. I vertically integrated myself so to speak. There's great opportunity around, but sometimes you have to be able to effectively remove the "overburden" first. We should connect as it could be beneficial to both. I'll bump you with a PM. Tony
Hi Tony, thank you for the input! That sounds great! I’m always looking for likeminded investors to meet and connect with in the Canton/Cherokee county area.