A Nice Town Vs A Rental Town

2 Replies

Hello Everyone!

Thanks for taking the time to read this, please be kind as this is my first post on BP.

As the title states, this is a generalized question. Which town should we buy a property in? We plan to owner occupy and buy and hold.  Sorry for the long wall o txt.


Town Summaries

Nice Town - Highly regarded town in my state. Lots of people try to buy Single Family homes here. Property values are above average in the state and well out of our price range for a Single Family Home. The town has a small town feel with minimal options for shopping and amenities. Most are in surrounding towns. There is a distinct lack of rental units in the town. I went on Zillow/Craigslist to get an idea of the rental market and found 3 apartment or homes for rent in the whole town. This makes it really hard to get a good idea what units should rent for in this town. My concern is that since this is such a coveted Single Family home town, people will glaze over it as an option for renting. On a personal note, this town is slightly out of our original search area and could make our commutes a bit worse for us.

Rental Town- Would be considered an up and coming town going through a renaissance. It has huge numbers of rental properties. Both small multifamily units and large complex's with several hundred units. Even with the large inventory, there still is more demand than supply. Rents are approximately $800-1200 1BR and $1200-1600 2BR.  Rental Town has more amenities and shopping compared to Nice Town. It is more convenient for commuting both by car and by public transportation into a major city. On a personal note, we currently live in this town.

Property Summaries

Rental Town- The problems with the properties that we can obtain in this town are many. The town is very old, founded in 1700's. This means the houses are really really OLD, as in 1850-1920 kinda range. These houses have tons of differed maintenance, electrical issues, plumbing issues and lead paint. My state is among the most strict with tenant laws so this would be a serious problem if you want to do things on the straight and narrow.  Additionally there are a large number of Cash investors who will come in and place bids on homes sight unseen with no contingencies. It is really had to compete against that when you need to use financing... and yes we have lost bids to them, several. Most properties only last on the market about 3-5 days unless there is something significantly out of the norm in terms of pricing.  Ex. being we placed one bid on a house 20k over asking, against 9 other offers, upped 10k in best & final, and still lost to a Cash offer higher than us. Even with all this, there are many more potential opportunities available and we may eventually get lucky in the long run.

Nice Town - There is only 1 property in Nice town currently that we are looking at. I feel any opportunities beyond this property will be far and few between. The property is much newer compared to Rental Towns options in general. It was built in the 1950's so significantly newer. The house has been on the market for over a month which I find odd coming from Rental Town. 

So here is the end question. Provided that Nice Town property is good and has no major issues, do you buy that house? Or do you wait and keep trying in Rental town where there should be more inventory coming available as spring comes? 

Thanks for reading!

Put an ad listing on craigslist for a non addressed disclosed rental property in each town and see what sort of demand you get along with the type of people that are calling

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