Atlanta Suburban SFR Rental Market

23 Replies

Hi BiggerPockets Community,

We are looking into purchasing a 2-3BD SFR in suburban Atlanta (DeKalb, Gwinnett or Cobb County) within the $180K to $260K range, with a goal towards cashflowing the investment at 25-35% downpayment. Ideally these should rent north of $1,350 monthly. Curious to get the community's thoughts on potential cities/neighborhoods you would look at. We were focusing on Lawrenceville, Decatur, Duluth, Marietta, Snelville, Lilburn, Dacula as potential markets, among a few others.

Do you guys believe there is enough depth/demand in the SFR rental market, where these could be leased within 2-3 weeks if listed at a reasonable price? Or should I be focusing ITP for SFR rentals?

Lastly, looking for a property management firm as well. Please let me know if you have any recommendations!

Cheers,
Harsh

Yes rental demand is incredible strong in the Atlanta Suburbs right now. The key is making the property nice and presentable, getting great pictures, then listing it in the right places. The last rental listing we did we received 70 phone calls and 10 applications in a day, we had to take the listing down just to review all the applications. 

Of course not all properties will be like that but if it is in a desirable area and a quality product it will lease quickly. Atlanta is a hot market and with COVID a lot of tenants renewed their lease and stayed put. So the available rentals are way down and the demand is still relatively high as we have a growing population. 

@Harsh R.

I think those are great markets you are investing on for rentals . If you are considering Marietta and Dallas I would add to the pile Acworth and Kennesaw as they are cities north of Atlanta and have tons of desired for renters due to kennesaw University

Originally posted by @Alejandro Vargas :

@Harsh R.

I think those are great markets you are investing on for rentals . If you are considering Marietta and Dallas I would add to the pile Acworth and Kennesaw as they are cities north of Atlanta and have tons of desired for renters due to kennesaw University

Completely agree with you! I am a KSU alumni and they have a very large student population. Anytime we get rentals in Kennesaw or Acworth they rent quickly. 

 

@Harsh R. I’m in the space you are talking about real numbers. Deal I personally did this month 4963 Ross rd Acworth GA 30101 bought at $164,500 rent ready at purchase. rented in 28 days for $1400/month. Tenants pay all utilities. Property is actually zoned commercial and in an state opportunity zone so there is a huge upside potential. Demand for that type of product is very high.

@VinothKumar Ganapathy were you able to achieve those rents? If so, that's a great yield. 

@Alejandro Vargas Appreciate the input here on Acworth and Kennesaw! Will definitely check these out. 

@John Powell Thanks for the comp! 

@Matthew Nicklin Great to know Matthew, thanks. Do you have specific recommendations on certain suburbs? Curious to know where your last rental listing was. This is a great statistic!

Originally posted by @Harsh R. :

@VinothKumar Ganapathy were you able to achieve those rents? If so, that's a great yield. 

@Alejandro Vargas Appreciate the input here on Acworth and Kennesaw! Will definitely check these out. 

@John Powell Thanks for the comp! 

@Matthew Nicklin Great to know Matthew, thanks. Do you have specific recommendations on certain suburbs? Curious to know where your last rental listing was. This is a great statistic!

@Harsh R

I didnt achieve that rent yet as I am about to close on December but I know that in the same community renal has already been closed for that rate for the same sq ft spec'd home.

 

@Harsh R. Obviously a few of us like that Cobb County area. I bought a townhome in Marietta last summer and after renovating it had the same success the others are referring to. In fact, I'm now looking for the next one. A couple of the other areas that have done well are Decatur and Duluth. Decatur is generally East Atlanta, ITP, and friends are crushing it there, too. Good luck!

@Harsh R.

$1400 rent seems really high for Cobb. I have a townhouse between Kennesaw and Marietta, great location, close to KSU and Marietta Square. It took me two months to rent it at $1375 back in February, right before COVID hit. It was newly renovated and everything. 3 bedrooms 2 baths Now the tenant is having problems paying. I think you will have a hard time finding quality renters at your price point. For $1400+, quality renters could just buy a house, why rent. Bottom line is I don't think you'll cash flow.

@Audrey X. $1400 is actually low for a single family house in most of Cobb (except certain parts of south Cobb) the house I rented smaller and older $1400 was pushing the upper limits. Yes you can buy for cheaper if you can find a habitable house under $200k and win the bidding war. There are typically multiple cash offers on rentable homes under $200k the two I bought this year I was in multiple offers and only one because I was cash and an agent with a reputation for closing deals I personally offer on. There is a large influx of people coming from covid restricted states looking for some of the freedom we enjoy down here. Tenants in both houses I acquired this are from up North. I have noticed that locals seem to think rent is too high (because 2-3 years ago rent was significantly lower) .

We invest primarily in the northwest suburbs (Marietta, Kennesaw, Woodstock) and have done a few flips in Snellville. You should have no problem renting a SFH for $1,350+/month in these areas if they are clean and renovated with decent rental quality finishes. We have found that we do much better with finding deals off-market as these are very popular areas that many investors target and oftentimes the numbers don't work with listed properties. I think that may improve in the next 6-12 months as we see the market shift some. However, if you are planning to put 25-35% down you should have no problems cashflowing well either way.

Originally posted by @Harsh R. :

@VinothKumar Ganapathy were you able to achieve those rents? If so, that's a great yield. 

@Alejandro Vargas Appreciate the input here on Acworth and Kennesaw! Will definitely check these out. 

@John Powell Thanks for the comp! 

@Matthew Nicklin Great to know Matthew, thanks. Do you have specific recommendations on certain suburbs? Curious to know where your last rental listing was. This is a great statistic!

 I personally like to invest in Cobb and Cherokee County. As others have mentioned Kennesaw, Acworth, Marietta are all great. I also own rentals in Powder Springs and Woodstock. 

The last rental that got all that activity was actually in Dekalb County. This was a property for a management client of ours. 

@Harsh R.

Hard to go wrong in Cobb County (Marietta, Kennesaw, Acworth). I also love Woodstock and Cartersville. I own dozens of rentals in those areas myself and try to buy anything I can that's a deal. And you can easily get $1,400/mo anywhere in Cobb County is the property is nice. I'm clearly biased when it comes to property management but don't forget you get what you pay for. Bargain basement management will cost you in the end. Find a company with LOTS of experience and your first question should always be how many properties do you personally own as rentals? (lots of PM's out there who claim to be experts at managing but don't even own rentals themselves!).

If you want my two cents on a property hit me up. Also, depending on the property we will master lease it where you pay no management fees.

@Harsh R. ,

Excited to hear you're looking in the greater Atlanta area, the growth and return of these areas has continued to exceed expectations over the past few years and shows no signs of slowing down. Presentation of the property as well as selecting the right submarkets is going to optimize your return and ensure that your property rents quickly. Not all properties are going to market as well as others so make sure you're getting good high-quality pictures, as well as doing up-to-date renovations to attract the best tenants possible. 

I work with out of state investors and would love to connect and hear more about what you're working on. 

@Harsh R. If you buy something in the Acworth, Kennesaw, Woodstock or Marietta areas my company will lease it from you on a corporate lease depending on the property/area. I'm looking for properties there right now to lease.

Justin and Robert - give me a shout about potential property management. I'm getting ready to by two properties near the flowery branch area. I posted a request for property managers in the area in a separate thread but this was a very helpful thread, for multiple reasons.