This is my first post on bigger pockets so forgive me if I'm committing any cardinal sins here.
Anyways, after a three year expat assignment overseas I will be moving back to my home area of metro Detroit. A good friend of mine already has a very nice portfolio of houses in Hamtramck. I am very lucky to have such a close friend already deep in the business for guidance, but he is only in Hamtramck. I've managed to save a decent amount of cash during my assignment through savings and other investments and want to start my rental property journey as well. I am very risk averse and want to do so without borrowing money. Obviously Detroit, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Hazel Park, all offer some options for very low priced housing.
The issue however is that pricing in the area is starting to heat up quickly and it may be difficult to get the same deals my friend got just three or four years ago ($20k purchase price pulling in between $800 to $1200 in rent with $20k in rehab). On the other hand, there are still hundreds of homes in Detroit specifically that are in the $20k to $40k range that can be rehabbed to rental standards with $20k to 30k. But I don't know the Detroit neighborhoods at all outside of downtown. Are there neighborhoods that are relatively safe investments or should I just wait for deals to pop up in Hamtramck? Obviously I am here to make money but Metro Detroit is my home and the idea of being part of the rebuild is also very appealing to me. I would love to be invested in Detroit, if I can do so smartly.
Hi David, welcome back to Detroit (soon). I would start by searching BP for similar posts. There have been a number of people that have asked the same question in the last few months. That should be a good starting point.
Once you start getting an idea for areas you're interested in, IMO it's as simple as starting to drive the neighborhoods and get that look/feel yourself in person. It's a huge advantage to be here on the ground, because you can get that vibe that out-of-state folks simply can't tap in to.
As you may have already read, Detroit is very street by street. You can literally be on a "nice" street, go over one block and get a completely different vibe. Hone in on a couple of neighborhoods and start finding the pockets within them that you really like.