Real estate adventure #2: finding a city to invest in

This is part 2 of my Real Estate Adventure series:

Part 1 – We’re buying a new property

The current situation

In my first update, I talked about my goal of finding a “good enough” deal in the Midwest. I planned on going with a turnkey provider who would also match me up with a lender and using the $15K from my car accident as the 20% downpayment.

Well, forget all that. There’s a new plan!

Here’s what’s happened:

  • At Camp Mustache this year, all I heard was avoid turnkey. I couldn’t find anyone who recommended the turnkey strategy.
  • I also kept hearing BoiseThree separate people recommended Boise to me as a great city to invest in. This was music to my ears because A. Boise is only 6 hours away from Portland and B. My dad grew up there and is pretty familiar with the area.
  • I got hooked on the idea that I could pull equity out of my Portland SFR. That meant that I could purchase my next properties with cash and with a lower interest rate.

What I’ve learned

  1. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Instead of looking all over the country for a city to invest in, I decided to start simple and ask people I trust where they’ve invested.
  2. I only need a hot city if you want a hot deal. If I only want a “good enough” deal, I only need a “good enough” city.
  3. Invest in the area, not the city. If I can’t afford the city itself, I still might be able to afford the suburbs or nearby smaller cities.
  4. Just pick a place already! There’s nothing to replace hands-on experience, and every minute I wasted agonizing over which city to invest in was a minute that I could have spent getting real life knowledge.

Next steps

At this point, I’ve settled on Boise and found the two markets I’m interested in: Nampa and Caldwell. They’re smaller, blue-collar cities 15-20 miles outside of Boise. While I haven’t given up entirely on Boise as a city to invest in, I just can’t seem to make the numbers work.

So what’s next?

  • I need a realtor.
  • I need a property manager.
  • And finally, I need a deal!

Want to know what happens next? Read Part 3.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

  • Just heard about your blog while listening to the Afford Anything podcast. I’m guessing you’ve already found a property management company but if you haven’t check out First Rate Property Management company ( I can already tell I’m going to enjoy your blog, good luck with the rental.

  • I can’t wait to hear more! And I’m amazed you can make the numbers work in Nampa, or anywhere near Boise. So excited for you.