Location, location, location! That familiar real estate phrase referring to the three most important factors in real estate. We have all heard it and many of us have even repeated it but it often doesn’t get the consideration it should from real estate investors. Getting the best possible deal has consumed many rental buyers leaving location as an afterthought. What these buyers are missing is that location will play a bigger role in whether or not they make money over the life of their rental property than how good of a deal it was when they bought it. When buying a rental property don’t put location on the back burner, make it a priority using the factors below to help determine if a location is good or bad.
Located in a safe neighborhood: You would think that in a town the size of Bend there wouldn’t be any neighborhoods to worry about but there are. While no neighborhood is immune to crime the question should be, will tenants feel safe living here, walking down the street after dark, and allowing their children to play in the yard?
Near good schools: In Bend there isn’t a whole lot of difference in the quality of education from one school to the next. However, everyone has an opinion about schools so a wise real estate investor will consult a Realtor to find out what schools are most sought after by people moving to the area. K-12 schools aren’t the only schools that are worthy of consideration when choosing a rental property location in Bend. Central Oregon Community College and OSU Cascades are both growing and with that growth comes students who will need a place to rent.
Close to popular places and shopping: By shopping, I don’t mean shopping for shoes or cars. What is the one thing that everyone buys on a regular basis? Food. Whether it is groceries or a meal at a restaurant, people need food and being close to a grocery store and/or good places to eat is a convenience many tenants look for in a rental. Many tenants also want to be close to popular places like The Old Mill or Downtown where so many festivals and concerts take place.
Easy access to throughways and public transportation: Public transportation isn’t as big a factor in Bend as it is in other cities but there are a lot of bicyclists and people who don’t want to spend a whole lot of time weaving through surface streets to get where they want to go. There are a few major throughways in Bend with Highway 97 being the major north/south route. A house with easy access to Highway 97 will be attractive to the most people. This doesn’t mean it has to be a block away from an on-ramp but tenants shouldn’t have to navigate a maze of streets to reach the highway.
Has views or offers recreation opportunities: One of the reasons people move to Bend is because of the great outdoors. Bend Parks and Recreation maintains 28 walking and biking trails throughout Bend such as the Larkspur Trail, Deschutes River Trail, various canal trails and even Pilot Butte. Rentals near parks or with views of the Cascade Mountains or Deschutes River are also very attractive to renters.
Buying a rental property in a location that provides tenants with something more than a roof over their heads will go a long way toward minimizing vacancies, maximizing rent and making the most of appreciation when it comes time to sell.