If You Could Move Anywhere...

14 Replies

Hi Guys - 

I'm brand new to real estate investing, but have the opportunity to move to (almost) anywhere in the country next summer -- or stay put in Newark, NJ. My goal is to buy our first multi family (live in one unit, rent out the rest) by then, and was wondering what the best markets for this would be. We love Denver and California, but I don't yet know that much about those markets for buy-and-hold investing. What do you guys think? If you could start your real estate investing anywhere right now, where would you go? 

Thanks!

Travis

I live in Denver and love it!  The buy-and-hold market is a little more challenging here than in other areas of the country.  Even with great rental rates here, the purchase prices are high enough to make it a challenge to find good cash flow opportunities.  

It's not as difficult as one would think to invest out of state, so personally, we wouldn't move to a different state just to be in a place where it would be easier to invest in buy-and-hold properties.  However, for argument's sake, if we had to choose a place that was a good market for investors and live there too, I would probably choose either the Dallas/FW area or Atlanta.  

@Travis Grossi  - I don't think either of those locations make the top 10 list for cash on cash returns. Also CA is a big state. 

My advise to those who ask this is always, pick where you want to live and invest there. I think it's well documented that Denver is over priced as are many areas of CA. Move there, get to know the market, buy right and enjoy.

Thanks @Jeremy Baker ! I wanted to be close to our first couple of investments, just so I feel comfortable with the whole process before attempting to do it from out of state. I like the climate in both Atlanta and Dallas -- any reason why you'd recommend those though?

@Travis Grossi  first I'll second what @Bill S.  mentioned above.  Choose where you want to live and invest there.  As much as it has been talked about here on the forums (there's a lot of great Denver investors that are active on the forums here) Denver is a tougher buy-and-hold market than most, but not impossible my any means.  Now compare Denver to Dallas and Atlanta, these two cities have great rental rates (not quite as high as Denver) but with lower purchase prices (for now) than Denver, which makes it easier to find properties that will offer you a better chance for some good positive cash flow.  

Both cities are economically stable and growing and I think, in many areas of those cities, your tenant pool is going to be better than compared to Indianapolis, Philly, Detroit, etc...  When I say "better," I'm looking at family income, education, etc... I'll also throw in Houston with Dallas/ FW/ Arlington and Atlanta.  Now I'm by far no expert, but this is what I'm seeing in these areas.  

Another reason I mentioned these areas is that my wife and I lived in Atlanta for 5 yrs before moving to Denver and I have many friends in Dallas/ FW are so I'm familiar with these two areas.  I really like the Dallas/FW area and I really liked living in Atlanta, but in no way am I moving from Denver to those two areas!  

Originally posted by @Travis Grossi:

Hi Guys - 

I'm brand new to real estate investing, but have the opportunity to move to (almost) anywhere in the country next summer -- or stay put in Newark, NJ. My goal is to buy our first multi family (live in one unit, rent out the rest) by then, and was wondering what the best markets for this would be. We love Denver and California, but I don't yet know that much about those markets for buy-and-hold investing. What do you guys think? If you could start your real estate investing anywhere right now, where would you go? 

Thanks!

Travis

 I just want to go home. I'm originally from Kansas City, which might I add is known for being a good place for real estate investment due to it's low housing costs, and high cash flow.

Currently both of my properties are in Arizona, but I hope to invest in Kansas City in the future.

Depends what you want.  I love the weather in San Diego, but not housing costs along w/ everything else that is costly there.  The Midwest has a lot opportunities for cash flow.  I think Texas and Florida have a lot of things I like

@Travis Grossi California is a great place to live but a terrible cash flow market for a number of reasons. Prices are so high nothing cash flows plus, the landlord/tenancy laws are very landlord unfriendly. My advice is to live where you want but invest where best. I like Indianapolis and Kansas City for cash flow. I've analyzed 40 markets on their economic and demographic trends combined with housing affordability and ROI and both come up very favorably. Feel free to contact me for more details if you want.

We live in the central valley of California. If you can find the houses the numbers are great because escrow fees are low. The thing with South Carolina, Florida and Texas is the insurance is high due to hurricane AND the taxes are high. For South Carolina investors pay 3% and everyone in Texas does due to no  Income Tax.

When you look at an area make sure you look at everything. While South Carolina makes us money, it was not as much as I thought it would due to the high Tax!

This is all really useful! And why I love BiggerPockets --  it's basically everything that's good about the Internet. People helping people and talking about what they love. 

Thanks again and I look forward to sharing our journey with everyone!

You can make money in any market. Decide where you want to live and then go there and figure it out for investing. I live in California and have bought many rentals this year in southern California that are great cash flowing deals. Just because others claim they can't be found doesn't mean they don't exist. I've never found any gold here in California so I guess nobody can find any right?! Or, am I just looking in the wrong river? 

Come to any REIA meeting in SoCal and I'll point out dozens of landlords who are making great money today with rentals they purchased this year. I recently spoke to an investor out of the Long Beach area who told me she acquired 20 properties last year alone. This can be done in any market. You just have to figure out what works, then go after it.

I wholeheartedly agree with other posters.  Move where you want to live.  You can make money in any market.  I can certainly endorse Colorado.  I moved here 40 years ago and have no desire to leave.  

I agree with others who say move where you want to be. Move to a place that has the amenities and lifestyle you want. Local real estate markets are always changing so using that as a guide is kind of short sighted. There are plenty of ways online to learn about various cities.

@Jeremy Baker I am not sure I would compare tenants in Detroit to tenants in Philadelphia. They are two very different cities. One is dying, the other not so much.

Sorry @Greg Wake  , I wasn't meaning to compare those two cities, I was just trying to explain why I personally like Dallas and Atlanta over other "hot" markets from a demographics point of view.  We've actually looked into the Philly area for investment opportunities and have come to the conclusion that if we invested out of state, then we would probably do so in DFW and Atlanta areas.

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