1. Job and Income Growth
Job growth is listed first because it tends to lead in-terms of other qualifying factors for real estate investments. For instance, it’s no secret that Detroit has been steadily losing jobs for the past 20 years. As such, their real estate market has been in a decline for the past two decades.
Opposite of Detroit is Chattanooga, North Georgia and Atlanta.
Chattanooga was the ranked 21 out of all the cities in America for the fastest job growth last year at 3.8%. Source
Atlanta also consistently has higher job growth that than the United States average. See chart below.
Catoosa and Walker counties less data for job growth. However, we know that major employers like Dunkin Donuts are adding a significant amount of jobs. Additionally, the job growth in Catoosa and Walker counties will probably not make national headlines, but will be a lot faster than the national average simply because it has a lower population rate.
One of the negatives you might here investing along the I-75 corridor from Chattanooga to Atlanta is the lower income rates. However, this means the real estate values are more affordable and there is more room for income growth. Anecdotally, it also means there is a large pool of tenants for rental property.
As you can see from the table below, Chattanooga’s median price is significantly below the national average. This coupled with the income growth of the area makes it a very affordable place to buy as an investment and to rent.
As you can see in the chart above, rent growth is very strong in Georgia because of the favorable population growth. Additionally, North Georgia is a great commuter area for Chattanooga and Atlanta. Catoosa county has a great school system and Walker county has a very low cost of living versus Chattanooga and Atlanta.
Obviously a key factor for investing in real estate is capital. The I-75 corridor between Chattanooga and Atlanta has a diverse banking mix between small private community banks to large banks like SunTrust which has its headquarters in Atlanta. Lending in these markets has not materially slowed down due to the healthy economy in these markets.
Georgia is a very pro-business state where it ranks number 10 in Growth Entrepreneurship by the Kauffman Foundation. Also, Thumbtack gave the state an “A” rating for being friendly to small businesses.
Easy access to the whole world. Hartsfield International Airport has connecting flights and direct flights to anywhere you want to go. Additionally, the Blue Ridge mountains in North Georgia make a great weekend getaway.
6. Recreational Activities
I saved the best for last. The outdoor scene is why I moved to this area and why I don’t even think about moving. Despite living here almost 20 years, I have rarely gone on the same hike twice.
In 2015, Outside Magazine listed Chattanooga has the best outdoor town in the country.
You can Chattanooga Riverwalk map below.
Please note, this map is outdated and the riverwalk now extends to the St. Elmo area of Chattanooga. Also note, there are bikes to rent temporarily downtown you can take on the riverwalk.
Chattanooga has the riverwalk which wraps around downtown and is still being expanded. Atlanta has the
7. Favorable Landlord Laws
According to RentersInsurance.com Georgia has one of the top landlord laws in the country. In my experience, evictions are a lot faster in Georgia than other states.
Georgia does have a moderate state income tax, but it also has great job growth and great school systems offsetting this expense.
In general, property taxes in Georgia are relatively low. The median real estate tax payment in Georgia is $1,413 per year, about $800 less than the national average. The average effective property tax rate is 0.93%.
The average year-round temperature is 62.55 in Georgia. So if you are looking to escape cold this is your place. This actually has investing implications because harsher colder climates tend to cause more maintenance problems on rental property.
10. Population Growth
For perspective, the United States for the last 3 years has had population growth of 0.8%. However, the I-75 corridor including Chattanooga and Atlanta has had meaningfully higher population growth. See data tables below.
As you can see from the facts above, the area between Chattanooga and Atlanta is a great place to invest.
If you would like to learn more about great turn-key rental properties for sale and off-market deals. Fill out the form below.