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The Best Cities to Buy an Investment Property

The average home increased in value from $194,500 in 2015 to $205,000 in 2016, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. That is an impressive return of nearly $11,000, or about 5%, for American homeowners. Relative to income that extra $11,000 is equivalent to the average American household receiving a raise of 19% on their annual income. But when it comes to investing in the real estate market, location is everything. Some cities are better bets when it comes to buying an investment property, thanks to more affordable mortgages or lower property taxes.

In order to find the best places to buy an investment property, SmartAsset looked at five factors. Specifically we looked at effective property tax rate, rent-to-home-value ratio, demand for housing, home value appreciation and rent costs. Check out the data and methodology below to see where we got the data and how we put it together.

Key Findings:

West is best – If you are looking to make your fortune in the real estate market, head west. Florida and Texas are the only non-western states to rank in the top 25. In fact, only seven states are represented across the top 25 cities.

Invest in California – The top 25 is dominated by Golden State cities. In total nine of the top 25 cities are in California. In general this state has not done a great job of building housing for all the new residents. This has led to growth in home values and rents which is a good sign for people invested in the California housing market.

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Known for wearing plaid and sweater vests before they were popular, Ben Bradley is managing director of Macon Raine, Inc. ( - a management consulting, marketing and demand generation firm for technology organizations. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and was a member of the undergraduate Iowa Writer’s Workshop. His interests include the intersection of technology and marketing. Because he was never very good at sports and doesn’t have many hobbies, his primary interests include the role of marketing on internal technology adoption, micro-finance, military uses of technology and media, self-organizing networks, network and physical security, collaboration and groupware. He frequently lectures his children on a variety of topics. Bradley was raised in Wheaton, Illinois and currently resides in Glen Ellyn, Illinois with his wife, two children and a purebred Latvian Goathound named Stella.