Buying investment property in the suburbs is a great choice for the right investor. You may be more likely to find long-term tenants; however, to find these tenants, you may have a smaller prospective tenant pool to choose from. Here are eight pros and four cons of suburban investment properties.
8 Pros of Investing in the Suburbs
- Less Turnover- People view the suburbs as more of a permanent location than the city. Renters or buyers in the suburbs are usually looking for more stability than those in the city. People are looking to buy a home or rent one for longer than one year. For example, a young family with a newborn may rent a home in the suburbs so that their child can grow up and attend school in that neighborhood.
- Less Wear and Tear- In the suburbs, it can be easier to find long-term renters- those that will sign a lease for more than a year. Since they plan on living in the property longer, they see it as a home. Having a long-term connection with the property generally means that they may be more respectful of the property and create less wear and tear.
- More Room/More Bang for Your Buck- In the suburbs, the price per square foot is generally lower than it is in the city. Therefore, you are usually able to get a larger property in the suburbs than you would be able to get in the city for the same price. For example, in Boston, $300,000 might get you a 500 square foot condo, but in a surrounding suburb, this $300,000 could get you a 1900 square foot home to rent.
- Outdoor Space- One big perk of suburban living as opposed to city living is the plentiful outdoor space. Some sort of outdoor space is expected in the suburbs, as it is one of the main draws.
- Lower Crime Rates- Suburbs typically have lower crime rates than cities or urban areas. Safety is a big concern for renters and buyers.
- Quiet- The suburbs are a welcome escape for many from the hustle and bustle of city life, but not as isolated as a rural area where it could be harder to find help in an emergency. It is the perfect mix of crickets chirping at night and hearing your neighbors slam their car doors in the morning.
- Access to City- Another pro of suburban living is the close access to a nearby city. Many suburbs are located within an hour of a larger city, which can give suburban residents access to the arts and entertainment they may crave. The city can usually be accessed by car or through a main railway line.
- Multiple Incomes- Suburban homes are often made up of multiple income earners. Therefore, they may have a larger budget to work with than single individuals.
4 Cons of Investing in the Suburbs
- Fewer Renters: If you are a property investor who focuses on rental properties, you should be aware that there are fewer renters in the suburbs than there are homeowners. This does not mean that no one in the suburbs is looking to rent. People in the suburbs are looking to rent apartments, single family homes or multifamily homes.
- Since the rental population is not the majority in the suburbs, you have to make sure you understand what tenants in the area want so that you can buy property or renovate your property to appeal to them. In addition to residential renters, there are also opportunities in the suburbs to purchase and rent out retail or office spaces.
- Less Variety of Investment Properties: The majority of properties in the suburbs are single family homes. In certain areas, you will also be able to find two-family homes. Apartment buildings or large multifamily homes will be less common. There will be a limited number of office and retail spaces available.
- Less Public Transportation: The suburbs are not as attractive to people who do not drive or who do not own cars. It will be very important to those who do not have their own transportation for the property to be located close to a railroad or bus line. Also, even for those with their own transportation, if your property is located too far from highways or the main town, it could restrict your buyer pool and be a turnoff for buyers or prospective renters.
- Nothing to Do: Some view the suburbs as boring. They can be seen as a cookie-cutter town with a strip mall, diner and movie theater.