Small Town Markets With Big Rental Home Potential

For years I lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, zip code 02139, average family income $74,000, average home value $506,000. Then I moved an hour west, to Orange, Massachusetts, zip code 01364, average income $42,000, average home value $160,000.

Home prices out here have pretty much been flat for a decade and I won’t bet they’ll start rising next year. The population of the surrounding county, Franklin County, has stayed the same for years, except now it’s older - the average age is 45.

But one important thing DID change in the past five years - the population aged 20 to 34 grew 7 percent.

This is the KEY, the difference between small markets that have investing potential and those where nothing much will happen. Are young people moving in or out? A 7 percent increase in five years is the minimum you want to see, but you’ll find such opportunities around almost EVERY big city in the country; about 400 counties in the US did better than that, many with growth from 10 and 20 percent.

The US government is generous with information. At use either Community Facts or Guided Search. Restrict yourself to counties or markets with income in the $40,000 to $50,000 range; you could go higher, but don’t go lower. Check out the counties in your area and some individual towns.

Do your homework, then get started with your empire!

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Sound reasonable. Did you manage to identify a few of these small towns?

America is full of small towns that are close enough to big cities - and important things like healthcare, restaurants, entertainment and airports - yet far enough away so the drawbacks of city life can be forgotten.

… look for single-family homes in really nice locations, places you might want to live yourself. You must rent to the upper end of the market. No more than 90 minutes from a big city downtown, door to door. Check the cell reception and see if cable runs on the street, you need internet!

Not yet… I was hoping someone on forum will do the work for me… :sweat:

I did try the census site, but it’s not as easy as the author made it out to be. Well, I guess getting rich takes some work after all. :slight_smile:

Drawback of city life: despite “drug free zone” signs, the parks have more drugs than anywhere else in the city. If I ever get a ticket for violating the leash law, I will lose it. There’s a sign that says drug penalties doubled near the park due to kids in the area. No one ever gets busted. A few blocks from the park there’s a half dozen police directing traffic during after work rush hour. In big cities, parks aren’t even a positive anymore. All they are is a space for homeless to gather and do drugs.

I have already identified a small town with rental gain potential. .Since I have bought starting in 2013 rents are up 30-50% …No new construction allowed, growing demand, expanding junior college, millienials looking for lifestyle over career…huge potential growth…Not to mention 10m vacationers (think second home buyers) less than 4 hours away…

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OK. @Elt1 inspired me to look at data on Reno. From the census site, the county’s population of 25-34 grew 15% between 2000 and 2010, and median household income is 45K. Seems to fit the criteria perfectly.

By no means small towns, Sacramento county’s 25-34 age group also grew 15% between 2000 and 2010. San Francisco’s dropped 7% in the same period.

Seattle is accelerating

2000: 173K
2010: 181K
2015: 199K

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But price is too darn high now in Seattle… Perhaps in some lesser known suburbs one can still find some bargains?

Yes, but they are starting to accelerate too.

Article implies $50k-$150k :grinning: prices

No need to go far! I recently bought a condo in Vallejo. $145k total. Put down 35%. Monthly expense $1100. Rent $1700. $600 cash flow per month!!!

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What kind of tenants do you see in Vallejo?

Contradicts what you have said previously. Recall you said you have stopped buying rental.

Cap rate = 5%, about the same as for Austin.

Oh… I forgot about this one :slight_smile:

Also, I just bought another rental in Walnut Creek…

Are you trying to avoid tenants of a particular ethnicity or income status (sec 8)? Don’t worry. You can always get quality tenants no problem.

Houses there are expensive.

Yes, you have to be able to find the good deals in an area like that. However, Vallejo is a no brainer!!!