At Susquehanna Realty Management, we provide residential property management for the central Pennsylvania area, including Lancaster, Harrisburg, York, Lebanon, and Mechanicsburg. We enjoy talking to investors about the benefits of buying and renting out real estate in this area. However, we also recognize our responsibility to talk honestly and transparently about the challenges involved in being a landlord here.
Today, we’re telling the truth about investing in Lancaster real estate.
The economy in Lancaster is incredibly steady. It’s a mostly suburban area that still has quite a bit of rural property. The landscape is simple, steady, and values-oriented. Housing prices are low when you’re looking for something to buy, which means investors can enter the market with a low investment, especially compared to other cities on the east coast. You can find a good property that will rent to excellent tenants for as little as $50,000, and you’ll be able to lease it quickly and reliably.
Lancaster is an excellent place to invest, but it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. There has been some unfortunate activity in the rental market, and it’s left a lot of investors and potentially great landlords feeling like the real estate market here is not worth the trouble.
We’ve come across some large management companies in the area that don’t know the market and don’t understand the properties or the tenants in this area. They cut their management rates really low to attract owners who wanted to make money on real estate fast. By dangling these get-rich-quick schemes, they lured investors into the market and then when things got complex, they left town as easily as they arrived.
In Harrisburg, a brokerage company came onto the scene and purchased super-cheap properties that were foreclosures. Then, they sold those properties to investors at an inflated price. So, owners, were stuck spending $60,000 on homes that were probably worth only $20,000. Many of those owners are still dealing with the financial fallout of that bad advice. These are people who put their retirement savings into real estate investments because they were lied to by unethical management companies and brokers.
An ethical and honest property management company can give investors who have suffered from bad advice a fresh start. New investors can also benefit from a great property management company who will walk them through the process and help them understand the challenges and benefits that come with real estate investing. It’s important to find professional help you can trust. This advice is similar to the advice you’d receive from a stock broker, except we’re talking about properties. Look for a local company that understands the market and has a strong reputation. You want property managers who have the same values as you, and the same vision of success. You want leadership and direction.
If you have any additional questions about investing in the Lancaster community, please contact us at Susquehanna Realty Management. We’d be happy to tell you more about what it’s like to own and manage property here.
“I appreciate SRM sending owner payout checks promptly after collecting the rent. They also have dependable maintenance staff who handle repairs adequately.”
— Howard Porter
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