Cedar Rapids, IA - Wellington Heights Neighborhood

33 Replies

Hello Everyone.

Wondering if anyone has had any success with rental markets in the Wellington Heights neighborhood in Cedar Rapids. It seems as though the houses are priced well. It is close to Coe College which could be a draw for students to rent, but I've heard that SE Cedar Rapids can be tricky at times.

Does anyone invest in this area or have any thoughts on this area of Cedar Rapids?

I purchased my first investment property in March on the SE side.  Going into it I knew there was going to be quite a bit of work that needed to be done but the price was right and I couldn't pass on the opportunity.  When I closed on the property I quickly realized I had gotten myself into somewhat of a mess, mainly due to poor management of the property by the previous landlord. After of few months, 4 units remodeled, and all new tenants, I'm in a good place.  Looking back I can say it was worth it. In my opinion and based on my experience there is a demand for good, quality housing on the SE side and there are good people to rent to, you just have to find them. I also thought I would be able to draw  Coe College students but other than a few exceptions I think students are required to live on campus so I wouldn't bank on that.

Overall, it has been a good learning experience for me and when I'm back in the market for another investment property I will include the SE side in my search.

Originally posted by @Zackary Phillips :

I purchased my first investment property in March on the SE side.  Going into it I knew there was going to be quite a bit of work that needed to be done but the price was right and I couldn't pass on the opportunity.  When I closed on the property I quickly realized I had gotten myself into somewhat of a mess, mainly due to poor management of the property by the previous landlord. After of few months, 4 units remodeled, and all new tenants, I'm in a good place.  Looking back I can say it was worth it. In my opinion and based on my experience there is a demand for good, quality housing on the SE side and there are good people to rent to, you just have to find them. I also thought I would be able to draw  Coe College students but other than a few exceptions I think students are required to live on campus so I wouldn't bank on that.

Overall, it has been a good learning experience for me and when I'm back in the market for another investment property I will include the SE side in my search.

 This is great to know Zackary! I wouldn't have known that the Coe College students are required to live on campus. That was one of the reasons I thought the Wellington area would do well.

So for the home you purchased, was it difficult finding tenants to fill the units? Do you use a property manager or did you end up filling it and renovating it yourself? 

Thanks so much for the reply! Always great to hear from someone who just recently entered a market and can give you current info about their experience!

Caleb,

The property I purchased is a 4-plex.  I self manage the property and did all of the renovating myself with the help of family.  When I first closed on the property there was one vacant unit and the other three were occupied by some bad tenants so I had to get them out.  I renovated the vacant unit and the first day I advertised I received an overwhelming response.  I showed the unit, accepted applications, and ran background checks until I found the right tenant.  In fact, I had a number of qualified tenants so I worked with them and they eventually filled my other open units once they were empty and renovated.  

Being that this is my first, and only investment property, I'm pretty hands on with everything and because of that I've developed good relationships with my tenants and I feel like that has really helped.

One other thing, if you don't already own investment property in Cedar Rapids, the city requires that you register as a landlord and take a landlord training class that is held twice a year (you only have to take it once).

I hope you find this information helpful.  Let me know if you have any additional questions.

Zack

Nice that is all very useful info. I'm new to investing and was looking around the Iowa City to North Liberty area and was a little nervous about Cedar Rapids because I don't as much about the city, but I'm going to start keeping an eye out in that area now as well. You guys rock! Glad your 4-plex is doing well @Zackary Phillips . Hope you find something great @Caleb Godsey !

Something for your consideration when looking at this or any area is the amount/type of crime that occurs in the area. 


https://cbs2iowa.com/news/crime-map

Crime can affect your turnover rates, the type of tenants you attract, rent rates, and potentially the type and degree of property damage that you experience.

There are a lot of areas to invest in within the corridor. It sounds like @Caleb Godsey is looking for buy/hold properties for rehab/rent. 


@Michael Flynn is correct about the CR landlord training, and I actually thought it was pretty good; especially for anyone that is new.

@Zackary Phillips I have found properties in that neighborhood and I never pushed forward with it because of the notion of high crime. Its good to see a success story like yourself, I might reconsider that part of town again in future investment opportunities.
@Michael Flynn Iowa City might be hard for you to crack depending on where you are looking to invest. I don't know anyone investing in North Liberty so I would be curious on your endeavors in that area. North Liberty is expanding rapidly and would be a good market to get into.

@Samuel O. Yeah the North Liberty market is interesting. Prices are comparable to Iowa City, but the city is growing like crazy. I'm trying to get in before it gets out of hand, I'll let you know if it's successful. With it being right between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids it seems like a place where people are wanting to be. I know my girlfriend and I love it because she works at the the U of I and I work in CR so it's equal distance for both of us to work. Plus NL is getting a Hyvee (technically on the border of Coralville/North Liberty), so you know it's legit haha.

@Michael Flynn Yeah I agree, when I was a student at the UI the rental prices in North Liberty were very cheap but they've since increased in response. NL is definitely a great market to get into especially if you don't want to live in Iowa City but work there and the same goes for Cedar Rapids. Once that Hy-Vee is built all bets are off, LOL.

Hey Guys, jumping in late on this thread but would love to connect. I'm new to investing as well and would love to start a dialog.   My local area (Boston) is way too expensive for cashflow so I'm looking out of state and the pricing in the Cedar Rapids area might work.  I'll be traveling to Cedar Rapids 3 weeks out of the month for my day job so I'll be around. 

 @Caleb Godsey , @Zachary Gwin , @Michael Flynn , @Ron Rohrssen , @Samuel O. Would love to pick your brains and start a dialog.

Thanks!

Hi Liz, that's right. A meet-up sounds great. I'll be in town this week if anyone is interested. Something real casual. Grab a drink and talk about real estate. Name a place, day, and time and let's make it happen!

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here