Lawrence KS vs. Kansas City

12 Replies

Currently own one single family rental near the University of Kansas and am beginning to look for my second deal (preferably multi-family). I'm torn between continuing to buy in the Lawrence area or transitioning focus to the Kansas City market. 

Curious to hear from other investors with experience in either or both markets. Any thoughts regarding stock on the market, competition, cash-on-cash comparison, etc. would be appreciated. 

I will be moving back to the KC metro from Portland, OR at the end of the year and am ultimately wanting to live where I will focus on investment, so hoping to make a decision here soon. 

@Dar Fornelli

I like Lawrence, however, Kansas City has a much larger economy and much better growth so I am leaning towards KC. As far as Topeka, I see low cost opportunities there, but it has always struck me as a place with a declining economy and super slow growth.

Topeka is an easier market to get into I own there as well --they have great families and hard working people.  Each block is different but the cash flow is great. I love Lawrence but again the prices are going up and it's a student town.

i love college towns... that said, it's a 30 minute drive for me and downtown KC is only a 15 minute drive... so i am staying in downtown KC... topeka in my opinion is out... crime rate is too bad there.  Lawrence and KC are both great places... bang for buck downtown kc is better, but your prop value will probably go up quicker in L-town

@Dar Fornelli It depends on what class of property and neighborhood you are looking for. If you want more A class type neighborhoods, there's more on the KS side of the border. If you're fine with B class, Kansas City, MO is great. In general, MO is a little more landlord friendly, has lower property taxes and homeowners insurance and although inventory is low, there is still more inventory in rental neighborhoods than KS.

Though Lawrence is a great area, Kansas City is definitely where it's at right now when investing in the market. Feel free to give me a call and mention BiggerPockets. I would love to answer any questions you have concerning the KC and Lawrence areas. Wish you the best of luck!

College rentals are kind of like shooting fish in a barrel - you have a contained market and always people looking for a place to rent.  And you can get not only your tenant roommates to sign the lease, but also the parent cosigners.

But finding good deals in Lawrence might take longer than expanding your horizons.  Why not do both?