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Is investing in residential properties in Lancaster, CA, as a source of income, a sound decision?

I am interested in purchasing multi-plex residential properties or multiple single unit homes to rent out.  Is Lancaster a good area for this endeavor and what kind of returns and long-term appreciation can I expect?
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July 09 2013 - Los Angeles
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The Antelope Valley is still the most affordable place to buy in all of Los Angeles County. I check the statistics often. I still see that Palmdale and Lancaster homes are purchased more than any other city in L.A. County. In Lancaster alone there were 559 homes sold in the 2nd quarter of 2013 and 670 homes in Palmdale. Here is the link that I get my information. http://dqnews.com/Charts/Quarterly-Charts/LATimes-Charts/ZIPLATQTR.aspx

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September 16 2013
Lancaster and Palmdale were some of the hardest hit areas in LA county when the market crashed so there are some great deals on investment property in those areas. However one thing you have to consider is the amount of vacancy and tenant turnover you would have in a property there. The increased returns you could achieve may be eaten up with turnover and vacancy costs. As for long term appreciation, that is not something you want to base the purchase of an investment property on as that is speculation and we all saw what happened with that a few years ago. If you get it then that is just gravy. You should always buy based on the cash flow.
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July 18 2013
What really matters at this point is the complex you are looking for, the cost of rent in that specific area, and the cost of the complex.  Remember to calculate all costs including (if you are the landlord) some basic utilities, loan rates(which are getting pretty steep), taxes, and lost business due to renting out time.

Also, something important to consider is whether or not you will be using a management company to take care of the building for you.  They typically find tenants for you and take care of the building, but they do get a percent of the rent coming in.

Subtract all those costs from what the rent is going to be for the units, and that will be a rough estimate of what you might see in return.

Here is the one issue: at the start of the loan period, perhaps the first five or so years, rent might not cover all of the costs associated with the building(s), especially if maintenance is required at the get-go.
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July 09 2013
 
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