Kyle, I live about 45 min down the road and trust me when I say that PA is as close to a warzone as you can get in East Texas. The only niche there would be Sec 8. However, there are several cities that touch it and are much better and safer, plus you'll get quality rentals and renters.
Now since Harvey our market is filled with displaced looking for anything, and the market has about 20% less inventory. This is making it hard for most all of us to find good deals.
First off welcome to southeast Texas. We are glad to have you join us. Just to help you get plugged in, we have a local bp group called SETX biggerpockets on facebook. Look us up and request to join. You will get a brief questionnaire to help us get a feel for you and help plug you in. Secondly, there are a few local REI meetups in our area. I encourage you to attend with us. We will be starting up a bp only meetup shortly in the coming months.
Now to get to you question. Yes a large majority of Port Arthur is widely considered D-, but there are a few pockets that are workable. Aaron is correct about investing in other areas that are local that are outside of Port Arthur proper. I will second that there is a significant lack of properties that are true "deals" right now since the hurricane has increased overall demand in the retail market and is driving fierce competition. That all said there are still ways to invest now and get in the game. There are a few of us here that wouldn't mind showing you the area and driving you around to get you up to speed. All you have to do is ask.
I would encourage you to plug in now before you move to help jumpstart your transition. Join some of the groups and go to meetup.com to find more gatherings of like minded people. Looking forward to meeting you and hope to see you around the site and around town.
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