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Top Five Places to Rent Homes in North Carolina

Written by:
Natalia Buriy

Choose to use the services of qualified realtors in Charlotte NC to find a home to rent out. In 2023, North Carolina will have the fourth-highest population growth rate among all states, making it one of the best places to invest in real estate in the United States. Newcomers flock to the big cities, the beach, and the mountains, making renting a home in the state a worthwhile investment. Whether you're looking to invest in Airbnb, buy an apartment in an apartment complex, or buy a family home for rent, this informative list will help you find the perfect city to actively run and promote your business and your investment goals. To determine the most optimal markets for real estate investment, the most populous cities in North Carolina were classified by the following categories:

     - Economic growth;

     - Current investment potential;

     - The current cost of renting different types of real estate;

     - Legal nuances of the current legislation.

This information on North Carolina real estate examines the state's optimal rental market and is designed to help you get started with profitable rental property investing. When one of the cities on this list catches your eye, reach out to the top realtors in North Carolina to start finding your dream investment opportunity. You can even apply to any number of agencies until you find the best agency for your profitable investment journey in the various types of real estate available.

Optimal location 1. Charlotte

Rising home prices, rising rents, and an influx of residents have made Charlotte one of North Carolina's top rental markets. Over the past decade, more than 150,000 people have moved to Charlotte and its surrounding areas, making Charlotte the fastest-growing city in North Carolina and one of the top rental markets. The median home price is $377,990, which is about 12% higher than the US median home price. Real estate prices in the area increased by 20% last year, which is also higher than the national average of 12%. And this has been an ongoing trend. Since 2015, Charlotte's home prices have increased by 117%. This increase in real estate prices shows great income potential for real estate investors. Charlotte had 35% renters in 2019, indicating strong market demand for rental properties in this location. The median rent is $1,900, well above the national average. Charlotte is one of the most interesting and trendy cities in the Southeast region. In addition to its reputation as the financial and banking center of the South, Charlotte has a major league baseball team, shopping centers, museums, golf courses, and top schools. Sprawling urban areas can be the best place for those looking to invest in housing, this option is ideal for competitive rents.

Optimal location 2. Greensboro

Greensboro also stands out as one of North Carolina's top markets due to rapidly growing median prices and healthy rental demand. More than 300,000 residents live here, and in 2019-2020 alone, the city's population increased significantly due to new residents of the city who came here in search of work and career opportunities. Rising housing prices in Greensboro make this town a smart opportunity for profitable investment. The median home price is currently $228,365, and housing prices here have increased by almost 20% over the past year and by almost 80% since 2015. More than 40% of residents rent housing, which reflects the high market demand for rental housing. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,274. While lower than other cities on this list, it’s still a viable option for investors just starting to get in the game. Being in the heart of the state, Greensboro has a close-knit atmosphere. The International Civil Rights Center and Museum, local gardens and arboretum, competitive local schools, and the rich diversity of the community make it an attractive location for many potential tenants.

Optimal location 3. Durham

Durham is the fourth largest city in North Carolina. According to the city's transport plan for 2045, the population of this area will double in the next 25 years. Since 2001, Durham's investment in local businesses has attracted more than 300 new businesses, including Apple's billion-dollar campus in Research Triangle Park. Durham has a median home price of $398,339, the second highest of any city on the list. Since 2015, housing prices have increased by almost 117%. Durham is also home to Duke University, which attracts an influx of student renters each fall. The bustling campus offers a predictable demand for renters as waves of students return to campus each year. Outside of the Durham campus, there is a vibrant downtown area and numerous lively dining options.

Optimal location 4. Raleigh

Raleigh is the second most populous city and the second fastest growing city in North Carolina. The median home price is $436,641, the highest of any city on the list. House prices have increased by 98.5% since 2015 and may continue to increase as the city develops. Raleigh has more renters than any other city on the list, likely due to high real estate prices. This high rental rate makes Raleigh one of the best rental markets in the state, so if you can afford to invest in real estate, you’ll quickly start making your money back. The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,735, making it the second-highest city on the list. Raleigh is a family-friendly city poised for continued growth, with plenty of land to build on, a growing job market, and an engaging culture.

Optimal location 5. Winston-Salem

Low real estate prices make Winston-Salem an attractive market for rental investors looking for the best deals and hoping for potential growth. The median home price is $218,911, which is 35% below the national average. However, housing prices are unlikely to remain low for long. Prices are up 84% since 2015 and about 13% in the past year alone. With a population of 244,115, Winston-Salem is the smallest city featured on this list, but the population is growing steadily. Between 2010 and 2020, the population of Winston-Salem grew by almost 9%. Approximately one-third (32%) of residents rent, including students at Wake Forest University. The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Winston-Salem is $1,551. Residents here can enjoy the restaurants and shops in the city’s vibrant arts district.

The next step in investing in rental real estate

North Carolina offers many profitable opportunities for affordable real estate investment. Local real estate agents are powerful allies in helping you find promising rental opportunities, navigate hot markets, and even help you get your property listed as available for rent. A trusted network of realtors in North Carolina and beyond will make it easy for you to take advantage of North Carolina homebuyer discounts. These discounts can help offset closing costs or prepare new properties for tenants.

Buy cheap, sell high

When you buy a rental property, you don’t have to commit forever. Just keep it in your portfolio long enough to enjoy the passive income of renting and then sell when the market is hot. This means buying a property below market value (usually in poor condition), upgrading it, and reselling it for a much higher price than you bought it for. Although the average profitability of such apartments is 15%, it can reach 30-50%. However, there is a rule here: the easier it seems to make money, the more obstacles stand in your way. Don’t underestimate the cost of renovations because they can be expensive.

Also, don't forget that there is fierce competition in the market among more experienced investors. To find good deals, you need to be proactive. Good theoretical knowledge of the real estate industry, relevant laws, and tax legislation, as well as knowledge of local market conditions, will help you make profitable investments. Another option if you have more capital and less knowledge of the market, you can invest in real estate with a higher entry threshold like commercial real estate. More and more companies rent offices, warehouses, or other working premises. Therefore, for investors with large capital, the purchase of rental property for commercial purposes can be a very profitable form of capital placement.

Commercial tenants usually have longer contracts, so they are a stable source of income. The barrier to entry is very high, not only because of high property prices but also because the needs of potential tenants often have to be met. Knowing which industries to focus on requires a lot of market work and research. There is nothing worse than an investment that does not pay off, so you want to be sure if the rental will be worth it.

By Liliana Alvarez

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