Albany NY-new investor. What to look for?

3 Replies | Upstate New York, New York

Hi, I am a newbie-planning to invest for a rental property in Albany NY area. I have been following the market around Pine hills/Helderberg- targeting Albany Med/SUNY Albany. Houses are almost 100 year old and getting under contract within a week of listing. Will anybody be willing to share their experiences/lesson learnt while buying old houses in Albany NY. Things to look for during open houses , how to calculate cap ex rate for these old houses? Any good property managers in the area? What is the average management fee and vacancy rate. Any insight will be helpful. TIA

@Avani Sharma congrats on getting started. You'll encounter mostly brick buildings within the city, which you'll want to inspect to see how it's been maintained/repaired over the years. Outside of that things like heating systems, roofs, electrical will all look similar to something youd see in more recent construction as well.

As you mentioned Pine Hills multifamily (and the Capital Region as a whole) is very competitive. My recommendation would be to have your financing in place and schedule showings the day a property goes on market.


@Avani Sharma Congrats on finding a place, the hardest part is making that jump. I agree with @Steven Luttman about having all your ducks in a row, the Capital Region is on fire with bidding wars still.

With buying any property always look at the mechanicals of the building, the foundation, and the roof - as those are all the high ticket items. Quick google search gave me a vacancy rate of 4.8% in Albany out of 48,265 properties. For cap rate take the annual rent and subtract the annual expenses (repairs, taxes, management fees, insurance, vacancy, etc.) then divide that number by the property cost and multiply by 100.

Hope this helps!


@Avani Sharma congrats on starting your search! My significant other was accepted to Albany Med two years ago, so we bought a home when we moved here. It was definitely competitive, we would often see a house the day it came on the market and the buyers who had a viewing appointment after us would be waiting outside!

That being said, we bought a house built in 1900 and needed a new electric panel, some mold remediation, and have a few CapEx items that are halfway through their life.

Something we've run into in Albany is lower water pressure. A lot of the lines coming from the street are fairly old and if you plan on targeting students (where 3,4,5 people are sharing a house) you will want to make sure you are confident running a few appliances and fixtures simultaneously. 

Finally, just to reiterate some of the advice already here: Be prepared to find ways to strengthen your offers. I wouldn't advise offering way above asking, but something like a larger earnest money can help entice sellers to know you are motivated. Also, find a rockstar agent. Someone who is responsive when you call, and available to show you homes is your greatest weapon in the competitive market.