The allure of Upstate

12 Replies

I came to Rochester NY in 1997 and at first never really envisioned myself settling in and making it home.  This is the same for most young professionals that are studying at the universities and is evident in the few that stay and find jobs in our city.  Most people don't realize, but Rochester's population actually peaked back in the 1800's and has been in decline ever since.  We're plagued with tons of deferred housing stock, slum lords, city owned vacant lots from properties taken back, and a gluttonous oversupply of office & industrial space yet I remain optimistic for this river city's future.  Right now we're in the beginning phases of setting up workforce development programs and acquiring space for redevelopments that have a community facing aspect while remain profitable enough for investors to undertake.  

What is it that entices you to upstate?  

What needs to change to make you more successful?

Hey Mark,

Just stumbled on your post from August. Awesome podcast, BTW. 

I think unless you have lived in Upstate NY you can't fully appreciate it. Sure, it is probably seen as a depressed area with little economic or social allure.  At the same time I think Upstate has a lot to offer. 

Appreciation is never a great play for Upstate investors, but stability is. The great peaks and valleys of the real estate cycle seem to leave Upstate generally unfazed. That premise might give newer investors who may be apprehensive a sense of safety. We also have great college towns that offer a unique niche. My area has seen a slight boost from casino gambling and the future of nanotechnology. 

Hoping this gives possible investors a positive outlook as to the future of Upstate. 

I'm late to this party but I thought I'd put in my two cents:

I'm originally from Rochester, but I went to school in NYC and spent four years after that in Richmond, Virginia. Now I'm back and doing business/investing in the Finger Lakes region near Ithaca.

I think New York is just rough all around. From my very inexperienced twenty-something point of view, the economy was so much better in Virginia. There were more jobs, cost of living was lower, taxes were lower, and the people were happier. It was very, VERY hard for us to leave and resettle upstate.

BUT, New York also has its charms. People are patriotic here. Have you ever talked to a Buffalo sports fan? a rehabber in Rochester? one of the young start-ups in Ithaca? People who stay here love it here. They invest in the area, they stick around, they feel loyal to their communities. I'm living outside of Binghamton now, and the poverty here on the PA border us shocking. People don't care much about what happens to local businesses or tending to their communities. Comparing that to Rochester's Lilac festival or any of the smaller events that happen around in the suburbs, farmer's markets, local restaurants etc. is so encouraging. Rochesterians love Rochester. How many people have you seen with the flower logo tattoo? We're patriotic. We talk it up. In Richmond, when one upstater met another, it was instantly all about garbage plates and white hots and the latest Sabres game. Wegmans coming to Virginia was such a huge deal.

Anyway, I think there's a ton of hope for the area, and it will continue the way it has been with locals being encouraged to stay and invest in their own small ways. I'm sure happy to be back!

Welcome Stephanie!  I travel a lot for work.  And, I can attest, that Rochester is a great city.  

The grass is not always greener on the other side is a fact!

Rochester and upstate NY is a beautiful part of the country. We own a cabin near Old Forge, Ny a few hours away. There is nothing like the summer time in the Adirondacks! 

I grew up in Greece, a Rochester suburb.  It's a great town with a ton of culture.  The City has so many unique neighborhoods.  It's still recovering from the virtual demise of Kodak, but it is in the process of reinventing itself.  Enrollments are growing in the area and things are booming at Strong Hospital.  The bottom line is that the numbers work for investors.

very true I now live in Greece the city has many opportunities for investors,  houses Cashflow well and market prices are stable

Let us ponder the allure in this 1880's sitting area.  East End Rochester NY!

I am originally from Queens NY. I came across Rochester back in 2006 looking for a great city to invest in multi family properties. Since NYC is very expensive I traveled to Rochester every single weekend until I purchased my first property. Now over 50 units, I call Rochester my home. People are nice and I love the small town feeling!

That is awesome Aquil.  What area do you buy in?

We also came from Queens, NY (Far Rockaway).

When we visited Rochester the first time, we were annoyed we didn't move here years ago. Now we own a house here for ourselves and a few more for investments.

Rochester has its charm. I chat with local people that don't appreciate it enough. Every time I explore new houses to purchase, I am just amazed with the history and the verity this place has. 

I own homes all over the city. I also was pressed by out of town investors to manage their properties once the word got out how I was managing my own. I have met some great people and am amazed on how much this city has to offer.

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