Lakewood, OH SF Rental Market

11 Replies

Hi - can anyone provide insight on the SF rental market In Lakewood? My son is looking for a bit of a house hack with a roomate or two and then rent to a single tenant after 12-18 mos. We know the Lakewood market is tight but wondering how SF rentals are doing? Thanks.

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@Rick Klimek   I'm working with a mid-twenties guy just starting out right now who is interested in a Lakewood house hack and I've been steering him toward multi-families.  As you probably know, the Lakewood market is super hot right now for both single and multi family properties so my feeling is that if you're going to buy at the higher end of the market you want to have the benefit of multi family income to get you thru any downturns.   

With a 2-4 family, he can put his buddies in another unit or give them a room in his- he's got options.  If they move unexpectedly, he's not scrambling trying to figure out how he's going to make the mortgage payment by himself (have seen that happen more than once).  And in general, I think you'll find that the extra rent he gets from even a two family will more than offset the rise in the mortgage payment.  

I bought a single family to live in and then one to rent when I was in my mid-twenties.  They both worked out well in terms of building some wealth, but I still wish I'd bought multi-families instead.  I think I probably would have kept them and would have got to where I am now a lot sooner as a result. 

I have a two family in Lakewood which has been super easy to rent.  I just rented a 4 bedroom single in Fairview Park, similar market to Lakewood.  I rented it quickly at $1450, but one thing I noticed was that I wasn't getting anywhere near the same amount of inquiries I get on the double and my Cleveland singles (all below $950/month).  It was October which I'm sure had something to do with it, but also is making me wonder if the pool of renters who can pay more than say $1200 a month is a lot smaller than I thought.....something to look into if he stays with the idea of buying a single.   

@Don Petrasek MF in Lakewood are tight right now OR over priced in my thoughts.

A large single family he can have 2-3 roomies and could have much more selection to pick from in todays market. 

SFR always rent faster compared to MF with my portfolio, so the day he decides to move out his got less vacancy time

You’ll “overpay” for Lakewood as compared to nearby areas but that’s to be expected for such a hot area just be careful not to step on a land mine.
Most of the available Lakewood properties I’ve seen have neglected maintenance issues so make sure you know what kind of work you’re able to do and/or budget for.
Being young / inexperienced he may not be as aggressive on screening tenants (if he goes multifam). That is the biggest issue I see with my investor / insurance clients in NE Ohio...They are so focused on getting the maximum rent that they select a bad tenant and get punished for it.

Lakewood is expensive compared to Cleveland but you get what you pay for. The demand is high. Tenant base is quality. Homes are very large but incredibly old.

All & all great area. I'd much rather buy a property in Lakewood than Cleveland any day.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633

I half agree with both @Don Petrasek and @Federico Gutierrez . I bought my house at 24 and started renting both spare bedrooms 2-3 months later. They've been consistently filled ever since--not a single month of vacancy yet; however, it's been almost exactly 18 months, and I'm really ready to have my own space. I've been living with roommates since I was 19. After 7 years, I'm really ready to not have to see someone else's messes every day (and my roommates aren't slobs; it's my own claustrophobia coming out). I'm glad I started with a SFH, but I'm getting ready to refi my current house so I can turn it into a rental and buy a MFH with an FHA. I don't want to start paying my own mortgage after a year and a half of living for "free," but I need my own living space.

@Rick Klimek if your son has any questions about being a live-in landlord, feel free to reach out. It blows my mind that more single young professionals aren't doing this. 

I currently have two four families in Lakewood. I was just in the market for another property and I intentionally avoided Lakewood. In my opinion the market is too overpriced at the moment here for an investors deal. You might find something on the sheriffs auction list that is suitable. Renting this area is VERY easy. My 1 bedroom units go in 8 hours usually. I just rented a 3 bedroom in a couple days. 

I've started looking more in Lorain and I'm in closing on a 4 fam out there right now. The area is less desirable but the rent is decent and there's a ton of deals out there

(I also house hacked both those buildings by the way. It's a great way to hit the ground running with property management) 

Originally posted by @Anthony R. :

I currently have two four families in Lakewood. I was just in the market for another property and I intentionally avoided Lakewood. In my opinion the market is too overpriced at the moment here for an investors deal. You might find something on the sheriffs auction list that is suitable. Renting this area is VERY easy. My 1 bedroom units go in 8 hours usually. I just rented a 3 bedroom in a couple days. 

I've started looking more in Lorain and I'm in closing on a 4 fam out there right now. The area is less desirable but the rent is decent and there's a ton of deals out there

(I also house hacked both those buildings by the way. It's a great way to hit the ground running with property management) 

 I've never ventured out as far west as Lorain. What are the pros & cons of going out west as opposed to other areas in Cuyahoga County?

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633
Originally posted by @James Wise :

 I've never ventured out as far west as Lorain. What are the pros & cons of going out west as opposed to other areas in Cuyahoga County?


I'm not embarrassed to show the building to potential tenants based on the location and the rent that it pulls in is substantial compared to the current sale prices. 

I can't say the same for all the buildings closer to me. Lakewood is WAY overpriced at the moment for investors in my opinion and most of Cleveland reminds me of my time in Iraq. 

Originally posted by @Anthony R. :
Originally posted by @James Wise:

 I've never ventured out as far west as Lorain. What are the pros & cons of going out west as opposed to other areas in Cuyahoga County?


I'm not embarrassed to show the building to potential tenants based on the location and the rent that it pulls in is substantial compared to the current sale prices. 

I can't say the same for all the buildings closer to me. Lakewood is WAY overpriced at the moment for investors in my opinion and most of Cleveland reminds me of my time in Iraq. 

But did they have sweet artwork inside the houses in Iraq? 🤣

I bet they didn't have two toned kitchen cabinets like we have here in #TheLand 🤣

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633

@James Wise Haha ACTUALLY they did have a ton of great tile mosaics in many of the blown out buildings I fought in. Some of those neighborhoods were safer too. 

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