Best Places to Buy a Single-Family Rental Investment in Roanoke County - Article Banner

Roanoke real estate offers a lot of opportunity for investors, whether you’re looking to buy your first rental home or you’re trying to expand a growing portfolio. If you’re from outside the area and you want to move into this market, we think that’s a great idea, too. We work with a number of investors who live outside of the state and in some cases, even outside of the country. 

The Roanoke real estate market provides a good chance for long term appreciation and value growth. This is an area with a strong economy, a high quality of life for a growing population, and a reliable pool of tenants who can be counted on to pay rent and maintain properties. 

It’s also a competitive market, like so much of the country right now. Inventory is lower than it has been in the last few years, and word is spreading that excellent investment opportunities can be found in our area. We’re happy to help investors locate the perfect properties, and our experience in property management, real estate, and law has been invaluable to many of the investors we’ve worked with. 

Our advice is always this: surround yourself with local experts. If you’re interested in buying a Roanoke County rental home, that’s good news. Make sure you’re setting yourself up for success by working with local property managers who can tell you what kind of rental value a property will provide and whether there’s a lot of work that will need to be done before it’s better for the rental market. 

Most importantly, a Roanoke County property manager can advise you on whether the location will work. You need to know you’re buying a home in a great neighborhood.

Single-family homes make great investment properties for a number of reasons. They earn you more money on rent, they appreciate faster than multi-family properties, and they attract good, long-term tenants more easily. The best neighborhood for you to invest will depend on your investment goals and your budget. 

We have some good ideas on the best places to buy a single-family real estate investment in today’s blog.

Why Invest in Roanoke County Rental Homes?

Roanoke County is especially attractive to investors because of its strong economy and stable, growing population. With a 2020 population of 99,411, Roanoke is the eight largest city in Virginia. It’s growing at an annual rate of 0.13 percent, and the local population has increased by 2.45 percent since the previous census. 

There are a lot of investment opportunities in this area that aren’t as risky as they are in some other more volatile markets.  There’s a demand for good rental homes in a diverse economy. A lot of industries and commercial companies are represented in Roanoke County. 

Rental rates are also going up dramatically. After a bit of a dip in 2020, they jumped 15 percent in 2021. That increase outpaces the national average, assuring investors that they’ll quickly begin earning some great cash flow when they have rent coming in from Roanoke renters.  


Evaluate Your Investment Goals 

Before you choose the best neighborhood for a rental property acquisition, you have to evaluate your own investment goals. The right neighborhood for you won’t be the right neighborhood for everyone. 

Ask yourself why you are investing and what you plan to do with the property in the short and the long term. The type of property that’s right for you and its location will depend on how long you’re planning to hold it, what kind of vacancy risk you’re willing to tolerate, how much you’re willing to invest in maintenance and renovations, and whether you’re looking for quick cash flow or long-term appreciation.

Decide what you’re really after, and then you’ll know what kind of property makes sense for you.

Single-family homes are attractive to stable, highly qualified tenants. You’ll also earn higher rents in most cases. Your investment will also appreciate more over time when your asset is a single-family home. 

Think about location when you invest in a single-family home. Tenants will be looking for good schools and proximity to shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.   


Investing in Southwest Roanoke

Investors looking for history, walkable neighborhoods, and old southern charm will want to focus on areas like the historic Old Southwest. This part of Roanoke is one of the largest historic districts in the entire state of Virginia. It’s just a few blocks from Roanoke’s downtown district, making it easy for residents to access the business opportunities, schools, shopping, and recreation that’s found downtown. Old Southwest is a pretty, residential neighborhood that’s diverse and community-driven.  

The energy in Old Southwest is local, artistic, and cultural. There are leafy parks, old churches and other houses of worship, and lots of single-family homes within established neighborhoods. 

Why will investors want to look for homes here? The prices are still reasonable, even with the market being as hot as it’s been. You won’t have to go over your budget to find an ideal and well-maintained rental home, and you’ll likely begin earning money on it almost right away. Tenants are willing to pay more for homes in this area because they offer proximity to downtown Roanoke, a safe and residential vibe, and plenty of space, including yards and garages. 


Cave Spring Investments in Roanoke County 

Cave Spring is a town in Roanoke County that’s grown in popularity over the last couple of years. It’s still small, however, with a population of around 25,000 people. The neighborhood website Niche has given it an A+ rating, but that’s not the only reason this area is excellent for investors who want to buy single-family rental homes. There’s a diverse pool of tenants looking for rental homes in this area. Many renters are young professionals, families, and even retirees looking for low-maintenance living. 

Cave Spring is only 15 minutes from downtown Roanoke. Plenty of residents make the commute into Roanoke for work easily and without frustration. The feel is suburban, and there are some great restaurants, small businesses, and parks that make the entire area a pleasant place to live. There are great schools in this area as well, which will only increase your rental value when you buy a single-family home here. 

Rental properties do not make up the majority of homes here. Nearly 65 percent of Cave Spring residents own their homes. Investors will find that price tags are a bit higher when they’re looking for the right property, but the rents will also be higher than other neighborhoods inside the city of Roanoke. Tenants are highly qualified and willing to pay a bit extra for the privilege of this neighborhood. 


Hollins Rental Properties 

Hollins can be found in north Roanoke County, and it’s one of the most desirable locations for tenants who want attractive, well-maintained single-family homes. There’s also a potential to rent to students when you buy an investment property in Hollins. 

Economically, Hollins makes a great neighborhood for Roanoke County investment properties because the economy is strong and growing. Unemployment is at least two points lower than the national average and the cost of living is also lower than the national average. Investors can grab a great deal in this area. Homes can still be found for under $200,000. Appreciation has gone up more than 10 percent over the last year, and rents are also rising steadily. 

Tenants continue flocking to the Hollins area thanks to the educational opportunities here, the outstanding healthcare, and the natural beauty that surrounds the suburb. There are plenty of opportunities for recreation, entertainment, and sports. 


Investing in Salem Rental Homes 

Great NeighborhoodAnother great neighborhood for investors interested in single-family homes is Salem. In this area, homes are in well-established neighborhoods and residents enjoy spending time at local restaurants, shops, and the local civic center, which hosts many top-tier athletic events all year long. 

Home prices are a bit higher than in other parts of Roanoke County, but for the right property, rents can be as high as $2,000 per month. Schools are excellent, and there is some new home construction under development in the area, which should help with inventory challenges. Downtown Salem is a great place to look for high quality single-family homes, as well as Beverly Heights and Sunset Village. 

Finding the right investment property can seem like a challenge, especially when the market is competitive and the prices are rising. When you need help identifying the right property, count on a local Roanoke property management company like ours. In addition to providing help in buying a home, we can give you some idea of how much rent you’ll earn on a potential investment. We can also tell you what kind of improvements and renovations might be necessary before that property is ready for the Roanoke rental market. 

Please contact us at Lawson Realty Group if you are planning to invest in Roanoke, Virginia. We manage properties in Southwest Virginia throughout the Roanoke Valley, including Salem, Cave Spring, Hollins, Vinton, Glenvar, and Southwest Roanoke County.