Home values continue to rise, rents are at historic highs, and the country is mostly mask-free and open for business, open for travel, and open for tourism. In short, it’s a real estate investor’s dream. But, with house prices at an all-time high and rising every month, choosing the right location has never been more important.
The West Coast is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the country – but it’s expensive because it has a way of paying off investors in spades. If you’re thinking of starting or expanding your West Coast real estate empire, here’s where to start your hunt.
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Perched on the border of Mexico’s Baja California and the Pacific Ocean, San Diego is known for its picture-postcard beaches, cultural diversity, massive military presence, and vast green oceans of tourist dollars.
Be warned: you’ll need to have a lot of cash, yourself, to get in on the action.
The San Diego housing market is hot, even by 2021-22 standards. Prices rose 25% last year, second in the nation behind the Phoenix Metro alone.
But, if you can afford to buy in one of America’s most expensive markets, San Diego is a real estate investor’s paradise. Its 35.1 million visitors spend $11.6 billion annually, according to the San Diego Tourism Authority, and much of it goes to Airbnb and other short-term rentals.
For investors looking for longer-term tenants, 46.7% of San Diego residents rent, according to Mynd, compared to 36% nationally.
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North County Property Group recommends that investors visit the following neighborhoods first:
- Pacific Beach
- University town
- Rancho Penasquitos
- mission valley
- Mission Beach
- North Park
Palm Springs, California
Although no longer the playground of the Hollywood elite, Palm Springs is nonetheless a mecca for tourism today – it has just evolved for the modern age.
Located in the Coachella Valley, the region’s eponymous music festival generates six-figure visitor numbers nearly unmatched in America each spring. During the colder months, snowbirds from all 50 states and beyond flock to Palm Springs for its stellar winter. It remains one of the world’s great year-round golf destinations.
Palm Springs is also accessible – at least by California standards. Located inland from the coast — where seven-figure home prices are the norm — the typical Palm Springs home costs just $657,171, according to Zillow, compared to $758,360 for California as a whole.
There is, however, an important caveat to consider when investing in Coachella Valley real estate. The entire area — not just Palm Springs, but Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs and beyond — levies brutal double-digit transient occupancy (TOT) taxes that discourage short-term rentals . In a region so hostile to Airbnb-style short-term stays, investors would be wise to stick to vacation rentals, according to Jelmberg Team Real Estate.
Part of the reason Hood River is such a draw for real estate investors is the central inner city location. It is less than four hours by car from Seattle, one hour by car from Portland and two hours by plane from San Francisco.
Proximity to major cities, however, is only part of the draw.
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Perched at the crossroads of the Cascade Range and the Columbia River, Hood River is home to the Columbia River Gorge, an 80-mile Cascade Range canyon that stands out as the nation’s largest National Scenic Area and one of America’s Greatest Natural Wonders.
Real estate investors can count on a never-ending stream of visitors from the area and beyond who come to visit Mt. Hood, which is just a short drive away. Hood River also holds the distinction of being the windsurfing capital of the world, but outdoor vacationers also flock here for world-class sailing, kayaking and biking trails.
Chelan sits on the shores of the long, deep, cold, and narrow lake that bears its name. At a depth of nearly 1,500 feet, Lake Chelan is the third deepest lake in America – #1 and #2 are found in Oregon and California.
A small town of 4,000, Chelan’s population explodes to 25,000 in the summer. This is when tourists and part-time residents alike flock to Chelan for the wealth of warm-weather outdoor activities and natural beauty of the lake. But for real estate investors, Chelan is most definitely a four-season opportunity.
The area receives 300 days of sunshine a year, and the crystal-clear, glacier-fed lake is surrounded by vineyards that keep rentals full throughout spring, as visitors converge for weddings, harvest parties and wine tours. the wine region. In spring, the warm but cool weather is perfect for biking and hiking; and, in the region’s cold but sunny winters, the town is minutes from top snowboarding and skiing destinations.
All this leads to very favorable investment statistics. According to House Cashin, Chelan has a nearly decade-long trend of population growth, rising real estate prices, rising rental prices and steady upward appreciation.
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