The booming Cape Fear region owes its flourishing economic status to more than just our proximity to beautiful beaches. We are home to a shipping port with unmatched management and storage capabilities, a tech-startup culture that is absolutely on fire, a renowned food and beverage scene, major university, bustling film industry and so much more! Due to the dynamic nature of Southeastern North Carolina’s more-than-healthy economy, more and more people are moving here to live and work, rather than just for a week-long vaycay. With that in mind, our region is a great place to invest in rental properties beyond just houses along the shore. We talked to our friend, Justin Ash, President of Sea Coast Rentals about what you should keep in mind if you’re interested in getting in on the action!
Living where we do, often beach rentals are the first properties that come to mind when we are considering buying a home as an investment, what other kinds of rentals are in demand in our area that one might want to keep in mind as an investor?
Often times, the beach property investment can be great, but they are certainly a “high risk, high reward” type of investment. If you don’t get bookings, a vacation rental becomes very costly, very fast. Some of our investors who are long-term minded will search for locations based on school districts, layouts, or specific communities. They find properties that tenants will specifically need as they know those properties will likely not sit vacant for very long at all. This type of property is “lower risk, lower reward,” but steady and stable.
In the past we've talked with you about what amenities folks are looking for in beach rentals, but what about single-family homes? What are people looking for most in these types of long-term rentals?
Initially, everyone wants to be as close to the water as they can. Once they realize there are few options for this, we begin to identify what’s important to them and what budget they can support. Obvious things like the number of bedrooms is very important, but we need to talk about drive time to work, school districts and bus stops for the children, and then there’s pets and the need of a fenced in back yard. Those really are the important things that people are looking for—the things that affect their daily life.
What if I am buying an investment property in a neighborhood near a college, what might I look for in a "good investment" for renting out to students?
This is always an option we look at for investors, but we need to understand the expectation of the investor. If an investor is looking at an investment which they plan to move into one day and retire, they may not want to rent to a group of college kids who may or may not take great care of the property. They would need to understand that there will often be damage during tenancy. Yes, we are usually able to recoup that from the tenants, but this can be an out-of-pocket expense until debts get settled. Basically, a property that you’re looking at renting out to students is not likely to be your down-the-road retirement plan, but with a little emotional detachment from the property, it can be a great investment opportunity
How about short-term rentals that are not vacation homes? What are renters looking for in these types of properties?
We have a crazy demand for short-term furnished properties for people moving to the area that need a place for only a few months. They may be moving to the area and building a home that is not quite ready or just visiting for a couple months as they scout the area to buy. We have a portfolio of furnished rentals (not on the beach) that show a great occupancy rate. For this type of rental, people are looking for pet-friendly homes with few stairs, outside living areas, and open floor plans.
If you are interested in purchasing a property that will generate income for you for years to come, or if you have any questions about buying a home, call us at 910-202-2830 or contact one of our Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage REALTORS®. Questions about renting a home? Call Sea Coast Rentals at 910-202-3673!