Property 60 miles away -- manage yourself?

I’ve identified a small city about 60 miles from where I live that may look promising. As a full time RE investor, how difficult would it be to manage a small number of SFHs from this distance? Is it a good idea to try this? thanks

How do you feel about it? Can you afford the gas to drive back and forth? Are you willing to drive that far? If your rentals are in decent shape and you screen your tenants well, it shouldn’t be a big deal to live that far away.

After the initial phase of getting things set up, etc. I would not want to go there more than a couple times a month–is that realistic?

Obviously you can’t predict when emergencies will happen, but if you keep your properties in good shape you should be able to limit some of your mechanical issues. I think your goal is realistic. Try to organize multiple showings on the same day if possible. That will help.

With the cost of guzzoline, this would definitely be on the fringe. Along with what others have said, try to coordinate all of the routine maintenance items/inspections for a single day and try to establish “friendlies” in the area(s) to be your eyes and ears. Find the biggest busy-bodies in the neighborhood and have them call you (even if it’s ‘collect’) to let you know if anything odd is happening. I’ve had good luck with this even on properties ‘in-town’.


Thanks for the information. I’ll be sure to factor in the cost of gas, etc. to make sure it’s worth the bother. Actually, I am commuting over 50 miles round trip to my full time job right now, so if I end up doing this it may be less driving than I do now.

I have Property Mangers myself for all my properties, but it depends on how many you have I guess.

I rather not deal with Tenants, Termites, and Toliets, Put PM’s any good are hard to find as well.

Wonder what Mike thinks of this… “aka property manager”

Wonder what Mike thinks of this... "aka property manager"

Well…I think that there is a difference between management and maintenance. The biggest hassle with the long distance management will be showing the property to potential tenants. Once the tenants are in place, the management should be very little problem. Obviously, you would need to be there if you were going to do the maintenance. However, even the maintenance could be scheduled in advance (except emergencies, of course). I agree with Keith - 60 miles would be on the fringe for me, but then again, I would not commute 50 miles to work either.


I would definitely BURN OUT driving 60 miles to a rental. Isn’t there anything near work, on the road to work? I would also burn out driving 50 miles to work, actually, and just rent or buy something down the street if it was a job I wanted to keep.
Moving could be much less of a hassle than constantly driving. 50 miles = 2 hours a day!
Couldn’t you invest in an owner-occupied bunch of units near your work? Just a thought from


It all depends on what you’re used to and what you’re willing to do. I grew up in a rural area that meant if you weren’t a farmer, you were driving quite a distance to work. Even the nearest Wal-Mart was 20 miles away (it was one of the smallest you’ll ever find). What did all this mean for people in my town? You either drove 50 miles each way to work, you made minimum wage at one of the very few jobs in or near my town, or you were a farmer.
You didn’t explicitly state this, but Furnishedowner hit on it…is this town at least in the same direction from your home as your job is? At least that would help a little. You could schedule showings for late afternoon / early evening after you get off work (figure working potential tenants should be available during this time too) and also plan to do a couple hours of repair/rehab after work as well.
If it was me, I’d call the showings a nice relaxing motorcycle ride and only use 2 gallons of gas for the round trip. Oh, and don’t forget to claim the mileage for your taxes either!!

If and when I decided to do it, it would be as a full time investor, so job would not be an issue.