buying in an area where renewal has already begun, it can be difficult for your appraiser to get a true sense of the property value. This makes it critical to be proactive during the appraisal process, perhaps providing him or her with comparable property data or other information they will need. Another unique challenge of buying in- vestment properties in urban areas involves the amount of attention that you will attract from city officials, nosy neighbors, and preservationists. If the property you want to buy is located in a historic district, that will add yet another layer of surveillance that may limit what you can do with the property. However, many investors have found success by creating amicable relationships with various oversight groups and individuals and reassuring them that their plans for the property include careful tenant management and property upkeep. Finally, investing in urban neighborhoods give rental property owners a chance to get creative with their rental strategy. Buying a property in an area in the midst of a renewal offers rental property owners a chance to consider not only what kind of tenant they are able to attract, but who their ideal tenant might be. As the area reinvigorates, there will be real opportuni- ties to focus on a new renter demographic that might help further the project of renewal. If the location

of your property has underrecognized benefits, like access to public transportation or proximity to a large school, employer, or the arts district, you can become one of the first to market your property to attract ten- ants interested in these features. In this way, you could significantly shape the composition of the neighbor- hood in which your property is located and encourage others to do the same. Ultimately, the key to successfully investing in urban renewal areas is information, and lots of it. Armed with detailed market data and a clear vision for the future, single-family rental home investors can seize upon the opportunities that urban redevelopment brings and guide their investing to new heights, and the urban area does not need to be near you. With a nationwide professional property management organization like Real Property Management, you can live far from your investment yet secure in the knowledge that your property and tenants are being managed effectively. •

Jeff Pepperney is the President of Real Property Management, the largest single-family property management organization in North America. Learn more at

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