18 Best Places To Buy Rental Property In 2021 For Cash Flow & Appreciation

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If you’re thinking about investing in real estate, you don’t need to invest in your city or even your state. You can invest anywhere in the country - wherever real estate is affordable enough for your budget. Luckily, house prices vary across the country, giving everyone an affordable area to invest in.

So, where are the best places to buy a rental property in 2021 for cash flow and appreciation? Check out our list below.

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the Southeast. It’s regularly had continuous population and job growth, making it a great area to invest in. Atlanta is home to some of the largest employers, including Delta Airlines DAL, Home Depot HD, and Coca-Cola KO

Atlanta has recovered better than many other states after the COVID-19 pandemic, and the average homes sell for $313,000. 

Investing in Atlanta is a smart choice for those who can afford it because of its continuous population and job growth, ensuring you have a large target audience and pool of renters for your investment home.

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama, is a great place for new investors to start investing because of its low-cost homes. Also, Birmingham continues to have incredible population growth because of the job stability in the area. 

The average home price in Birmingham, Alabama, is around $192,000, which means you’ll earn lower rent prices, but the barrier to entry to invest in real estate in the area is much lower too.

Despite its low housing prices, the cash flow rate in Birmingham is higher than in most other areas in the country. Birmingham has always been a steady place to live with steady job growth and population, and it’s proven yet again even through the pandemic.

Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama homes provide real estate investors with a great return on their investment, including steady cash flow. The average rent in Huntsville is around $1,000 a month, but the average home sells for only $209,000.

Huntsville is home to many major companies and industries, including space and defense industries. It’s a strong military state, but plenty of large corporations give residents plenty of options and landlords a large pool of renters to fill their investment homes.

Montgomery, Alabama

The homes in Montgomery, Alabama, are priced much lower than the national average, but the average rent is around $1,000 a month, giving investors a steady monthly cash flow. Montgomery is home to some big companies, including Hyundai headquarters, GKN Aerospace, and Koch Foods.

The cost of living in Montgomery is lower than the national average, making it easier for residents to afford. This makes it an excellent place for new investors to jump on board as it has a low barrier to entry and yet has plenty of room for cash flow and appreciation. 

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a solid place to invest in real estate. It boasts affordable homes and high rent prices, giving you more cash flow every month. Albuquerque is the most populated state in New Mexico and is one of the most beautiful cities in the state.

People flock to Albuquerque for its low cost of living and incredible job opportunities. Most recently, Netflix moved its headquarters there, which brought a nice flow of people to the area. 

Albuquerque has low property tax rates and an average home value of $243,300, giving new and experienced home investors a chance to make a decent living investing in real estate. 

Charlotte, North Carolina

If there’s one area of the country where job growth is off the charts, it’s Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s also one of the hottest areas for investors to buy homes in, with landlords earning rent between $1,100 and $1,900 a month, and the average home price in Charlotte is $287,000.

North Carolina has always been a tax-friendly state, and most recently, it’s become the hub for entrepreneurs looking for a beautiful and safe place to live while they grow their business. If you’re combining your new business and real estate investing, Charlotte, North Carolina, is a beautiful place to do it.

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore has always had a strong job market, with a diverse economy, giving landlords plenty of opportunities to fill their homes with good renters. Houses in Baltimore sell for an average of $169,000, and landlords earn rent of $1,000 - $1,800 a month.

Baltimore is located less than 50 miles away from Washington D.C. and has a strong job market, especially in the healthcare, education, and finance industries. Baltimore continues to be an affordable place for renters to live and real estate investors to add to their real estate portfolio.

Tampa, Florida

Real estate investors can buy a home in Tampa, Florida, for an average of $286,000 and can collect rents between $1,200 and $2,000 a month. Tampa has had plenty of population growth through the years, even through the course of the pandemic.

Real estate values have increased recently, giving real estate investors plenty of room for appreciation on their investment. Tampa has also had strong job growth in recent years, primarily due to its popularity in tourism. While there are more ‘expensive’ areas of Tampa, there are certainly areas real estate investors can take advantage of to earn a decent cash flow.

Orlando, Florida

With so many people moving due to the pandemic, Orlando has seen incredible population growth in the last year. The combination of warm weather, exceptional health care, low property taxes, and a strong job market are what bring people to live in Orlando.

Investors can buy homes in Orlando for an average price of $278,000 and collect rents of around $1,000 - $1,500 a month. Orlando has no state income tax and low property taxes, making it a great place to live and work, giving real estate investors a nice pool of renters to choose from.

Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville is a great place to invest in real estate at affordable prices. If you’ve wanted to get into real estate in Florida but couldn’t afford the higher costs of Orlando properties, Jacksonville is a great alternative.

The average home sells for $218,000 in Jacksonville, and landlords earn between $1,200 to $1,600 a month in rent. The population in Jacksonville continues to grow each year, and the job market has remained steady even throughout the pandemic. With a low cost of living, it’s easy to see why many people call Jacksonville their home.

Chicago, Illinois

If you’ve always wanted to own a rental property in one of the country’s largest cities, Chicago, Illinois, is a great choice. The average home price is slightly higher than the other areas, with average home sales prices at $285,000, but the average rent starts at $1,600 and goes up to $2,100.

Chicago is not only one of the largest cities in the U.S. but one of the most lucrative to own real estate. The average rents in many areas far surpass the national average, giving real estate investors incredible cash flow. Home prices have soared through the years, providing all homeowners a decent return on their investment. 

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati is a great place to invest, especially for beginners looking for exceptional cash flow and appreciation opportunities. The average home costs $191,000, and rents in the area average around $1,300 a month.

Cincinnati has been a popular place for millennials to move to, especially those interested in working for Fortune 500 companies, as Cincinnati has many. The equity growth in Cincinnati is well over 30% and, and the population keeps growing, giving investors a nice pool of renters to advertise their rental home to.

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio, is a great place for new investors to try their hand at investing. Homes sell for an average of $110,000, and with a 20% down payment, that means investors need just $22,000 to invest in a home and leverage their investment, earning incredible cash flow each month with the average $1,000 monthly rent.

Despite its lower population, Cleveland is a great place to invest as it’s one of the top 15 economic regions in the country. The industries in Cleveland focus on technology, manufacturing, and healthcare, and its unemployment rates have remained steady since working their way out of the pandemic.

Dayton, Ohio

If you’re looking for an affordable place to invest in real estate and yet earn decent cash flow, check out Dayton, Ohio. Homes sell for an average of $145,000 in Dayton, and the average monthly rent is equal to $1,000 a month. Investors earn a decent return on their investments right off the bat, especially when buying turnkey properties.

Dayton is a much smaller town than Cincinnati or Ohio. Still, it has plenty of reasons for renters to live there, including a bustling retail economy, which brings a diverse set of young couples and families to the area. 

Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, the nation’s automotive capital, provides new investors with an incredible opportunity to invest in real estate with its low median home price of $75,000. Along with the automobile industry, Detroit brings in professionals in healthcare, IT, and aerospace.

Despite its low median sales prices, Detroit landlords earn an average rent of $1,000 a month, giving new investors a decent cash flow as the operating expenses in the area are low. Detroit has had a slightly slower population growth than other cities, but its job market is still booming, giving renters plenty of reasons to move to the area.

Dallas, Texas

Dallas has a low cost of living which brings in many people from surrounding areas. Investors can buy a home in Dallas for less than $250,000 and earn average monthly rent of $1,000 - $1,500 depending on the area, giving investors excellent cash flow.

Some of the country’s largest companies call Dallas home, including American Airlines AAL and Bank of America BAC. Dallas is continually growing year after year, making it a stable place for investors to set up camp and earn great monthly cash flow.

Houston, Texas

Houston is a mecca of populations and an affordable area for most people to live in. Its gorgeous weather, booming economy, and plentiful recreation bring people from all over the country. Investors can buy homes in Houston for an average price of $210,000 and earn monthly rent of around $1,200.

Houston is home to many industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, and technology. It’s also been a popular place for entrepreneurs to set up their homes, giving investors plenty of opportunities to find renters and earn steady cash flow.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis is an affordable place for investors to start their investment portfolio with an average home price of $175,000 and average monthly rent of around $1,100. With equity growth faster than the average area, investors have a great chance at earning decent cash flow.

Like most areas, Indianapolis has had some trouble with job growth in the area, but it has bounced back to pre-COVID rates in recent months. Most believe the job market will continue to bounce back, making Indianapolis a great place to invest and/or live.

Buy Rental Homes for Cash Flow

If you’re looking to start your first real estate investment home, the above 18 cities are a great place to start. You’ll earn decent cash flow and appreciation, allowing your money to grow faster than any other investment may offer.

Real estate is a great way to invest your money, and using a platform like Roofstock Marketplace makes it easier than ever to get started. Enjoy the growth real estate offers and invest in a home in one of the hottest cities today.

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