It really depends on your personal preference. Many newer investors like to purchase their first few investments in a local area because they like the idea that they can "touch" the property and they have a better knowledge of the area they're investing in. Some investors don't care where the property is, as long as it makes an income and the numbers work. As for whether you should buy close to you, the answer could vary greatly depending on the type of market you're in. Coming from the San Francisco Bay Area, most people simply can’t afford to buy in San Francisco because the price is too high for too little a return - especially newer investors. Most will venture a bit away where prices are cheaper and the return is a bit higher. If you live in an area where unemployment is extremely high (i.e. 15%+) it might not be the best idea to invest locally!
In regards about what to consider, the most important initial questions are probably going to be what TYPE of property do you desire (apartment, office, industrial, etc), the area (which you are figuring out) and what return do you want on your investment? Once you begin to figure those out, there are many people who can assist in your purchase. From my experience most newer investors prefer apartments.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me by phone or email.
Cell – 510-815-2000
Jul 29, 2009