Local markets dfor long term rental?

8 Replies

What markets nearby to Vancouver, WA, USA (and not in Oregon) should I be looking at if I want to purchase a long-term residential rental in summer or fall 2018? 

Housing prices in the area are currently elevated such that, for every property I've done some analysis on, operating expenses swamp rental income and depreciation. 

Thanks Adrian. Seattle is too far for me right now. I haven't examined any listings there to gauge whether or not an investment would otherwise meet my goals, but I do agree in general about the city's future prospects.

I invest in Vancouver and Camas.  Both areas are growing...numbers aren't great but I am getting there!  Rents are increasing hand over foot right now.  Feel free to contact me.  I am also an agent and am happy to chat with like minded people!

Vancouver is one of two areas in WA at which I'm looking. I'm coming from Silicon Valley, so the Vancouver area's prices are pretty darn reasonable to me!

The city proper is still good, particularly in the northern region. I've heard you should avoid Rose Village, but almost everywhere else is OK. Camas and Washougal are further eastward & smaller, but also have nice communities & reasonable prices.

HI Norm,

SW Washington is a great area to invest. For what it's worth here's a short run down:

The city of Vancouver is growing, especially on the north and east sides. There seem to be new developments everywhere and there is in-fill activity in and around the city. Apartments and Senior Care facilities are being built as well. Camas and Washougal (east of the city) are growing, Camas especially. There is money/funding there as the tech industry has been growing over the past 15-20 years. (Wafertech). Battle Ground is growing as well. Just to the north, Ridgefield seems to sprout new developments daily and they are investing money on roads and other infrastructure. Further to the north are Woodland, Kalama, Longview, and Kelso. All of these cities are seeing growth because they're bedroom communities for the Portland Metro area, and industry likes the fact that these cities have easy access to the I-5 corridor and PDX. 

In Vancouver the under 400K SFR market moves fairly quickly as long as it's appropriately priced. If so, then you're looking at days on market around 14 to 21 days, with very nice homes still going pending in a week. Higher priced homes are sitting longer, with the over 500K market sitting for 60,90,120 days depending on the pricepoint, etc. As for multifamily, days on market is more a reflection of location and condition. Keep in mind that our vacancy rates are still very low, under 5%. I work in Vancouver and am more familiar with it but the other cities are 20 to 60 minutes away, and if you like I'd be happy to bird dog an area for you. I don't mind, it helps me learn the cities/areas too :) Just send me a message or find me on the web (I'm a real estate agent.) I hope that helps, good luck and happy investing!

~ James

I would say, stick with what you know. if you know Clark County, stick with it. The market is softening a bit as homes are sitting longer on the market, many are coming back from failed buyer financing, and appraisals keep coming in lower than expected in general. Right now, we Realtors that help Sellers want as high a price as we can get without closing cost assistance needed because of appraisal comes in low, we aren't giving money away. I tell my Buyer clients to be patient to find the right deal, but when it pops up be ready to move immediately. Waiting 2-5 days to evaluate prior to offer is unreasonable, if you are doing that you are moving too slow. 

Also, get out from behind the computer and go view as many homes as you can. If you buy reasonably, it will rent reasonably. You should be able to look at a home, research for 30-60 mins and then be able to go with your gut. I have my own calculator based on numbers that I like and from experience of looking at homes. After entering a few numbers, it just says "Yes" or "No". 

I wouldn't base my findings on another person's view points, I.e. I have investors that LOVE Rose Village.

As equally important is determining what your exit strategy is going to be. I.e. is it just rentals, or is it appreciation or both. I had one investor that loved his rental until it appreciated a lot in the last few years, then he just wanted to be done with it (his gain from appreciation minus CG was still more than 10 years of rental payments).

@Norm DePloom I love the advice from @Steve Milford and @James Dishongh .  I work within Property Management in Clark County and we are seeing incredible demand for single family rentals near downtown Vancouver.  As Clark County continues to boom remember that traffic will become an issue overtime for those that are commuting to working locations.  I would try and focus on locations that give the renter an option of working in Portland (and fast access to PDX) as more cars get on the road over the next 10 years.  I like close in off of I5 and close in off the 14 as the seedy neighborhoods are turning quickly on the east side of I5.  I personally would stay away from the congestion of the east side of town.  If you go further east to Camas, the jobs are great and so are the schools but the property taxes are high.  Bottomline do the math and if you need someone to work with your realtor to calculate cap rates to make sure the investment makes sense now let me know.  Looks us up...Personal Property Management in Vancouver WA and ask for Uwe.

Hi all, I know I'm late to this form thread. These are great points, and I think the greater Vancouver area has a lot of promise, but looking at Vancouver rentals I want to add (not with out some self interest) that scaling up to small apartments may be helpful. I currently have a property under contract in R-18 zoning that would take 6-9 units in nice area. It seems to pencil nicely with great cashflow for someone that is ready to develop/build it. Thanks! Jeffrey

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