Hagerstown, Frederick or Martinsburg West Virginia, where will you invest in and

I am a newbie to real estate invest, I just graduated from college this last May and got a job in IT. I decided that I want to take control of my future by starting my investment career a lot earlier than most of my peers. I decided to invest in real estate because of its many benefits, support and numerous educational materials available.

I work currently in Germantown, MD and the real estate is rather expensive to get in, so I did my research and found out that Frederick, Hagerstown and Martinsburg WV are areas close by that one can find rather inexpensive deals.

I am starting this forum to get a general idea and input from seasoned investors on this site to get your opinion on whether my decision to look for real estate investment in these areas is a smart idea.

I plan to start with single family homes and then move on to multiunit building. I am also interested in fix-ups and renting them out or fix-ups and rent to own.

I will really appreciate the inputs of investors that know about these areas and their rental income capacity, also please feel free to suggest other areas in MD and its surroundings that you think will work for me.

If i were investing in those areas, I would tell you its not a good idea, so I can keep them to myself. Seriously though, if the numbers work, its a good place to invest. If the numbers don’t work, well move on. I think its a good idea to keep your investments fairly close. It doesnt have to be within 5 minutes of you, but how often are you going to check on a property 5 hours away. Then again if the deal is good enough, and managed right it doesn’t matter how far away it is.

You talk about making sure the numbers work before investing, I take it that you are a seasoned investor and as a newbie there are some things that I do not know yet about evaluating the profits to be made from a particular real estate deal. My question now is what numbers or specifics should I be looking out for before considering a deal to be a working or profitable deal?

Wow. Our family used to make trips to Martinsburg and Charles Town, WV to run horses at the race tracks there. Hard to imagine at that time that those areas would be a hot RE market 30 years ago.

There are plenty of good deals in Germantown and Montgomery County. Hagerstown and Washington County are on the cheaper side but also will have very little appreciation for a long time to come. Frederick County is best if you stay out of the city and go north (Thurmont area) or east (Damascus/ Mt. Airy) into Carroll County. Stay out of Howard County for rentals, it’s one of the wealthiest counties in the US. Your best bet will be in Baltimore City. You can have a lot of rentals in a rather concentrated area with a tremendous amount of revitalization going on at all times. Baltimore is the only place I’ve ever been offered a property for free, so there are plenty of inexpensive deals (May require rehab).DC is always a possibility but there isn’t as much activity as there used to be. I don’t know anything about WV.

Hope this helps.

I looked up the selling prices for houses in Baltimore and was amazed, they are rather cheap and will require rehab, so where in Baltimore do you think I should be looking for a good deal in terms of price and good renters as well as good neighborhood?

I hope your not comparing the prices in Germantown to the prices in Baltimore. That’s comparing apples and oranges. Within Baltimore, prices vary by the block. If your not familiar with the area get a savvy RE agent, especially in Baltimore City. Some blocks are totally vacant/ boarded up/ blocked up with concrete blocks. The owners are waiting for the next boom to rehab and sell. You could literally buy the block and renovate every property on the street and create a rent to own program. Look into funding from the city and state along with tax credits. There are several companies doing this but turning the properties into luxury homes. Affordable housing is what’s needed now in most of the city. No one is doing this. I’m currently buying up shells on an abandoned block very quietly and will start a massive renovation next fall to have the properties ready the following spring. The only reason I’m telling you this is because there are plenty of available properties.

Also look into the SCOPE program. You can buy properties in need of serious repair for like 5k from the city. The downfall is that you have to deal with the city telling you how to do everything (Which is why I don’t buy properties from this program). But there are thousands of these properties.

Anyways, I think I’ve said enough to point you in the right direction. Good luck.

thank you very much for your insight. I got a map of baltimore and have started dissecting it into regions and investigating there areas in which I can get into and make god deals. But since you are already doing it, I am wonder what areas in Baltimore you are concentrating your efforts or what areas do you think investors in the future will target?