Whether you’re thinking of buying your first rental property or looking to diversify your real estate investment portfolio by investing in a different location, safety should always be a top consideration. No one wants to live in an area where they feel afraid or threatened, right? As a result, property investors will notice that cities with low crime rates have a higher demand for real estate properties. So, if you’re searching for the best places to buy real estate, take a look at the crime, or lack thereof, in the neighborhood, city or state where you plan to buy an investment property. The safer the area, the better.
Business Insider reported that crime rates (including both violent and property crime rates) have declined in the US over the past two decades. The report also states that “According to FBI statistics, the rate of violent crime fell 50% between 1993 and 2015, the most recent full year available.” Thankfully, a high crime rate is not a major problem in many cities across the US housing market.
This leaves property investors with the question “Which cities with low crime rates are also considered the best places to buy real estate?” To answer your question, we first turned to AreaVibes, a great website that ranks more than 35,000 cities and neighborhoods to help you find the best places to live in the US based on 7 categories – one of which is crime rates.
After finding the cities with low crime rates, we then used our investment property calculator to find whether rental properties in these cities have a potential for real estate investing. With this investment tool, we found the median property price, rental income, cash on cash return, and the cap rate of investment properties in these cities. Based on this data, we were able to narrow down the 5 best places to buy real estate in the 2018 US housing market. Here they are, in no particular order.
NOTE: To learn more about how our investment tools help property investors make faster and smarter real estate investment decisions, click here.
Best Places to Buy Real Estate: Santa Rosa, CA
The city of Santa Rosa lies in Northern California, Sonoma County. The city has a mix of population from young to old, has a peaceful atmosphere, and is best known for its wineries. Due to its sunny weather, many property investors consider Santa Rosa for buying a vacation home rental. That, however, shouldn’t stop you from considering traditional investment properties in the city as well. Not only does it have a growing economy, but a high rental demand as well.
According to AreaVibes, the crime rate in the Santa Rosa real estate market is 31% lower than the California average, and 27% lower than the national average. Thus, Santa Rosa is among the cities with low crime rate and, based on Mashvisor’s data, is one of the best places to buy real estate. Here’s the data property investors should know about the housing market in Santa Rosa:
- Median Property Price: $660,202
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $382.96
- Traditional Rental Income: $3,850
- Cash on Cash Return: 3.47%
- Cap Rate: 3.47%
To start looking for and analyzing the best investment properties in your city and neighborhood of choice, click here.
Best Places to Buy Real Estate: The Villages, FL
Located in central Florida, The Villages, as the name suggests, is a collection of villages arranged into districts. In order to live in this planned community, you must be older than 55 years old. From its homes, sports, shopping, to restaurants, it offers residents an active and peaceful lifestyle. Based on AreaVibes, this city is safer than 50% of other cities in the US housing market, with a crime rate 41% lower than the Florida average and 35% lower than the national average. For this reason, The Villages earned its name as “Florida’s Friendliest Retirement Hometown” and a spot on our list of cities with low crime rates.
With regards to its potential for real estate investing, The Villages offers a wide range of house styles available for purchase, ranging from villas, urban townhomes, condos, to luxurious properties. At Mashvisor, we help you find investment properties of different types effortlessly using our Property Finder Tool. Do you have a free Mashvisor account? Click here to use our Property Finder and find properties in a matter of minutes!
Here’s the data property investors should know about the housing market in The Village, according to our investment property calculator:
- Median Property Price: $280,382
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $1,274
- Traditional Rental Income: $1,724
- Cash on Cash Return: 3.22%
- Cap Rate: 3.22%
Best Places to Buy Real Estate: Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale is a desert city in Arizona, to the east of the state capital Phoenix. Figures show a distinctive employment growth in sectors like healthcare, services, retail, and finance. Of course, this is accompanied by a growing population, making Scottsdale one of the best places to buy real estate for property investors with a preference of traditional, long-term rentals. Moreover, data from AreaVibes shows that the city has low crime rates – 27% lower than the Arizona average and 11% lower than the national average. For more on why you should consider buying an investment property in this city, read “Scottsdale Real Estate Market 2018: The Ultimate Guide for Investors.”
Here’s the data property investors should know about the Scottsdale housing market, as projected by our investment property calculator:
- Median Property Price: $863,035
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $292.21
- Traditional Rental Income: $3,510
- Cash on Cash Return: 2.57%
- Cap Rate: 2.57%
Best Places to Buy Real Estate: Overland Park, KS
Overland Park does not have the highlights of a big city, which is why a lot of families are attracted to the city. In fact, the most common type of housing in Overland Park is detached single-family homes, according to Neighborhoodscout, making up 58.31% of the city’s housing units. Another reason why families love the city is the fact that it’s among the cities with low crime rates. The overall crime rate in Overland Park is 45% lower than the Kansas average and also 41% lower than the national average – the safest city on our list!
This is obviously good news for property investors in this city, as trends show an increasing demand for rental properties. Not to mention, investment properties in Overland Park are affordable (as seen below), which is yet another reason for making it one of the best places to buy real estate.
- Median Property Price: $203,681
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $115.56
- Traditional Rental Income: $1,322
- Cash on Cash Return: 2.57%
- Cap Rate: 2.57%
Best Places to Buy Real Estate: Venice, FL
The last on our list of cities with low crime rates is Venice, FL – located along the Gulf of Mexico and the coast of Florida. Venice is a great city to live in and visit because of its friendly atmosphere, miles of beaches, fine restaurants, and dinner theater. As a result, property investors have the chance to invest in this city for long-term rentals. Of course, we can’t forget to mention data from AreaVibes. Total crimes in Venice are 43% lower than the Florida average and 38% lower than the national average. Here’s the data property investors need to know about the Venice housing market:
- Median Property Price: $342,109
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $195.21
- Traditional Rental Income: $1,938
- Cash on Cash Return: 2.51%
- Cap Rate: 2.51%
If you’re looking to buy a rental property in other cities in Florida, I recommend reading about “The 4 Best Places to Invest in Real Estate in Florida.”
The Bottom Line
This blog post lists 5 cities with low crime rates in the US housing market, which property investors should consider as some of the best places to buy real estate. Mashvisor will help you search for and find a rental property in any of these cities! Simply sign up and use our investment tools to find, analyze, and compare investment properties to find the best one in a matter of minutes!
To start out your 14-day free trial with Mashvisor, click here.