The greater Monroe County area of New York of which the City of Rochester is the centerpiece, is a great place to live and bring up a family. It is located on Lake Ontario, has a very stable economy (home to Eastman Kodak, Bausch & Lomb and Xerox among others) and has been found of late, because of its affordable housing stock, a great place to invest your money. Enough of my public service announcement, for further information you can contact the visitors’ bureau website at www.visitrochester.com
The city of Rochester is a city where you can buy a single family home for as little as $20,000 and expect a monthly income of at least $550/month or a 2 family property for $30,000 which brings in a monthly income of at least $800-900/month. I receive calls from investors all over the country (and outside of it) asking how this is possible. As someone that was born and raised in the area all of my life I (and other Rochester residents) ask how is possible that you pay $300,000 and above for a 1200 sq.’ 2 bedroom house in your area? To us this is insane. I guess the only thing to say is Se La’vi. I can’t speak for your area but my thoughts on Rochester are related to a steady (but small) appreciation of homes in the city. The suburbs, both east and west of the city, have had a higher appreciation but not in any way like some areas of the country such as California etc. The area is still what most people consider a ‘white collar’ type of town with three of the major corporations in the world (see above) founded here and with two of the three still maintaining their world headquarters in the city. Even though all of them have gone through a major downsizing in the past several years, the people that have been laid off have been absorbed into the local economy in the many startup companies in the area.
A major part of the housing stock in the city was built from 1900 – 1925. Dealing with older homes has the typical problems relating to maintenance & obsolescence. Properties in the lower price range ($10,000 – $60,000) usually are in areas of the city that have a higher concentration of low income tenants and sometimes a greater percentage of crime and problems related to crime. When looking at this price range of property an investor has to take into consideration extra costs related to repairs, turnover, improvements etc. It is not that these items don’t exist in higher priced homes but through experience, properties in these areas tend to have an increased amount of these types of expenses. There is always exceptions to these rules but as a realtor friend expresses to many of his clients, it is the old adage “pay me now or pay me later” concept. You might be able to purchase low but down the road you could have more expenses and losses that affect the bottom line. Hiring a good property manager will help, but even a good property manager can’t change the circumstances of the neighborhood or all outside forces that affect rentability