Investment Search Areas
A frequent question we get concerns where we look for properties. Property locations change over time as key factors change but below is a map showing where approximately 80% of our properties are located.
While the marked area appears continuous, in reality it is not. Some subdivisions do not allow rent, some rent poorly, some are near nuisances, etc. Also, there are several areas outside the marked area where we find excellent properties. And, as conditions change, properties will show up in additional areas. For example, I marked a small area below where properties started showing up where they never had before.
My first thought was that I messed up our software or perhaps the historical data we've collected over the years but I checked and found nothing wrong. As weeks passed, more properties showed up and, since I could find nothing wrong with our software, I drove out to the area and looked around.
To my surprise, Decatur Blvd now connected to I215. As long as I have lived here, Decatur Blvd stopped at Warm Springs Rd because a rail road track crossed Decatur Blvd a little north of Warm Springs Rd. After a little more investigation I learned that the rail road underpass was completed a few months before causing time-to-rent to decrease on properties below Warm Springs. Once time-to-rent fell below a certain threshold, these properties passed that filter in our software and some became viable investment candidates. Over time we've had properties show up in other areas due to similar types of changes.
Note that just because a property is in a desirable area does not make it a good investment candidate. We only consider properties that will attract our target tenant profile. Generally, the characteristics for single family homes include:
- Single family
- Two+ garage
- Three+ bedrooms
- Two+ baths
- Within a minimum and maximum lot size
- Built after specific year
- And other factors
However, just meeting all the above does not mean a property is a good candidate. There are a number of "filters" that eliminate properties with characteristics that make them unlikely to be good investment properties including:
- Known bad floor plans
- Subdivisions with rent restrictions
- Known undesirable subdivisions
- Properties with traffic or access issues
- Properties with excessive drive times
- Bedrooms too small
- Ratio of lot size to the property footprint
- Tandem garages
- Close to nuisances
In this article I presented the general area where about 80% of our investment properties are found. Also, I provided a brief property profile for single family homes.