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Choosing a rental property should be one of those well-thought-out decisions. You don't want to just decide to rent on a whim and jump on the fixer-upper next door simply because it seems like a good deal. You should also consider investing in areas outside of your own backyard. To show you the benefits of looking beyond your area to invest, we've compiled a list of the top 10 best places to invest in real estate in the U.S.

Best Places to Flip a House

New Jersey

Although the average listing price for a house in New Jersey is a bit high at $372,916, you can't beat an ROI of 141.6 percent. New Jersey has a growing population with rising employment opportunities and a good economy. Because of this, you should have no problem fixing up a house and selling it for a handsome profit. The average time it takes to flip a home in New Jersey is 207 days, with an average profit of $102, 300.


Maryland is another gem when it comes to investing in real estate. With an average flip time of 198 days and an average profit of $109,617-- it's really a great time to jump on board. The average listing price for Maryland is $369,454, so you will need to put down quite a bit of money up front. You'll make all of that back and more at the end of the flip, though.


Tennessee has a steadier housing market than most areas (3.3% year over year change in home prices), making it a great place for the safe flipper to invest. With the average Return On Investment at 85% and the average flipping time at 186 days, there's no doubt that Tennessee is worth looking into if you're in the market for a flip.


If you've got the money for a higher purchase price for a greater reward, Colorado is your state. The average home is listed at $538,477, but the average ROI is a whopping 155.65! It takes an average of 176 days to flip the home, which isn't bad at all considering your ROI!


Florida is a great place to invest, which is why it makes our list TWICE! Your flipping stats are pretty good:

  • Average listing price of $406,803
  • Average ROI is 83%
  • The average amount of time to flip is 151 days

And the economy is great. As always, it depends on the area you invest in, so make sure you complete a CMA and explore the area's income and employment ratio prior to jumping in and investing.

Best Places for Investing in Rentals

This list is similar to the flipping market. Because you are looking to rent out properties, however, you are going to need to do a bit more homework on the area. You'll need to know how much rent prices fluctuate year by year, as well as the amount of time it will take you to pay off the mortgage. The demographics of the area also make an impact on the amount of money you'll be consistently putting back into the property. Higher income areas tend to have less damage done to the property. The renters also stay pretty consistent on paying their rent and staying on the property for a long period of time.

St. Paul, MN

The middle of the U.S.-- especially on the eastern half of the middle-- is a great place for fixing up multi-unit homes and renting them out for a consistent flow of cash. With steady population growth (9.6%) and a nice employment growth rate (3.2%), it's ideal for rental properties. The rental yield is 8.37% which is good for the area. As with most large cities, you will want to check the neighborhood crime and income rates when considering which properties to purchase.

Jacksonville, FL

See? Here's Florida again. Jacksonville is a great place to own a rental property. With a population growth of 1.55% and a rental yield of 7.43%, you really can't go wrong. Jacksonville also did fairly well during the 2007 market crash as well, which indicates a strong market. You can't beat the sunny weather, either!

Cleveland, OH

Want to pay your mortgage off in only 7 years? Invest in a rental property in Ohio. With rising home values and a high rental yield (14.67%), it really is a cream-of-the-crop location to invest. Although the population is declining, home values continue to be on the rise, meaning demand for rentals also rises, as do prices.

Richmond, VA

Rising home values and a not-too-shabby rental yield, Richmond is one of those cities you don't want to miss. Here are some of the stats:

  • Employment growth is 2.2%
  • Population growth is 1.61%
  • Increase in home values is 14.9%
  • Rental yield is 6.02%

Charlotte, NC

The rising numbers don't lie, and Charlotte has rising numbers. Charlotte's population growth continues to grow year after year and is currently at 1.89%. The rental yield is at 5.89% and continues to rise as well, which is pretty promising for investors looking for a rising market.

No matter where you choose to invest, Clever's got you covered. Our top-rated agents are all over the U.S., making it easy for you to find a real estate agent you know you can trust wherever you're investing. Call us today at 1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form to get started.


Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

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