Nicki & Karen

What Are the Best States to Own Rental Property?

Nicki and Karen » May 6, 2024

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Investing in a rental property allows you to earn income and bolster your portfolio. Whether you’re looking to save for retirement or supplement your primary source of income, investing in suitable properties can help you reach these goals. When you’re searching for the best rental properties, there are numerous factors you’ll need to consider, which include everything from the nearby job market to the condition of the building. 

Among the most critical factors is the location of the property. Rental properties are more appealing to buyers and should also increase in value if they are situated in places with strong economies and excellent school systems. 

While looking for specific neighborhoods and cities where rental properties perform well is highly recommended, you should first consider the states you’ll invest in. Some states are better than others. The following guide examines the factors you must consider when investing in rentals and which states offer the best opportunities. 

Economic Stability and Job Market

One crucial factor you should consider when buying rental properties is the economic stability in the region. For example, states like Colorado and Utah have solid financial stability and low unemployment rates. In comparison, West Virginia and Mississippi have bad economies and high unemployment rates. 

Rental properties perform best in states with ample job growth, a diverse economy, and low unemployment rates. Look for places where specific industries are thriving. For example, states with high employment in the healthcare, finance, and technology sectors are often excellent locations for rental properties. Companies in these industries usually hire large volumes of employees who are paid high salaries, meaning the rental property you buy shouldn’t remain vacant for long.

Population Growth and Migration Trends

Consider population growth and migration trends when searching for the right states to invest in. This data determines the demand for rental properties in a specific state. Rental investments are more likely to perform well in locations with high population growth because of affordable housing, good weather, and plenty of job opportunities. 

For example, young families and professionals may be drawn to places that have affordable housing that they’re able to afford, which means that demand should be high. When population growth is low, demand won’t be as high, which might result in your rental unit being overlooked by potential tenants.

When looking for the states with the highest population growth, consider investing in Texas, South Carolina, and Florida. From 2022-2023, population growth rates in these three states were between 1.6%-1.7%. Places like North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee experienced growth rates between 1.1%-1.5%. These areas offer excellent potential for rental property investors.

Rental Market Demand and Occupancy Rates

When evaluating different states to find the ones you should invest in, consider the current demand and occupancy rates within the rental market. You can expect consistent income from rental payments in states and cities with high demand and low vacancy rates. 

When vacancy rates are low, your properties should remain full. It’s also highly recommended that you look into locations with a low supply of affordable housing. In these areas, rental prices are often higher, ensuring better returns.

Real Estate Market Performance

You must monitor the real estate market performance within the state you wish to invest in. Numerous factors can be measured to identify the potential for long-term profitability and growth in the market. These factors include median home values, housing market forecasts, and appreciation rates

If appreciation rates are high, there’s a higher chance that the rental property you invest in will increase in value over time. Some states have experienced consistent appreciation since the financial crisis in 2007-2008. These areas represent excellent investment opportunities. It would help if you also looked to invest in states with positive outlooks for future growth. 

Rental Property Regulations

Each state can have unique rental property regulations. States like Florida, Colorado, and Texas have landlord-friendly laws, meaning you can evict and manage your property without as many hurdles. For example, Florida allows evictions to occur in three to seven days. Before selecting a state to invest in, research lease agreements, eviction procedures, and tenant rights. 

Tax Considerations for Landlords

When you invest in rental property, you’ll need to consider some tax implications. The taxes you must pay can determine the investment’s profitability. You can profit more in states that provide tax incentives to landlords or have low property taxes. 

Some states don’t charge an income tax, which can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars on your annual tax return. Once you invest in a rental property, consider speaking with a tax professional who can help you navigate this situation and avoid making mistakes.

The Best States to Own Rental Property

Certain states are better for investors when considering factors like job markets, economic conditions, landlord-friendly regulations, and rental market potential. Once you choose a state from this list,  consider the cities with the best investment potential. 


California continues to be a top state for investing in rental properties. While the population growth isn’t currently high, many cities throughout the state have a great job market. Places like Thousand OaksMalibu, and Los Angeles are trendy among investors. 


Texas is among the best states for rental property investments. It has high population growth and a strong economy. It’s also friendly to landlords. In recent years, cities like Dallas, Houston, and Austin have experienced significant growth, which has resulted in high demand for rental properties. 


Tennessee has also grown considerably since the COVID-19 pandemic. Many cities throughout Tennessee have affordable housing and high population growth, which is why it’s a top choice among many real estate investors. The cities with the best rental demand include Memphis and Nashville.


Florida’s rental real estate market benefits from a growing population and a warm climate. Even at the height of winter, the weather is usually pleasant, which is why many people choose to live there. Florida has numerous tourist destinations, including everything from Disney World to Universal Studios. Consider cities like Miami and Orlando for the best rental investment opportunities


You might also consider investing in Arizona, which offers sunny weather, a vibrant job market, and ample population growth. While there are numerous suitable cities for investors, focus on  Tucson and Phoenix if you’re looking for good rental market performance. 

North Carolina

North Carolina is another state that offers economic stability, job opportunities, and affordable housing. Buying a property in cities like Raleigh and Charlotte isn’t nearly as expensive as in other popular urban destinations. Georgia may be right for you if you want access to suburban and urban markets. Cities like Savannah and Atlanta have rental solid market conditions and population growth


If you choose to invest in Colorado, its diverse economy includes a well-performing job market. The state also offers picturesque scenery, which makes the location popular among young professionals and families. Cities like Colorado Springs and Denver have the best rental market conditions. A few additional states you should look into when considering your options include the following:

  • Idaho: Coeur d’Alene, Boise, Twin Falls
  • Indiana: Fort Wayne and Indianapolis
  • Utah: Provo and Salt Lake City

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are there any risks that come with owning a rental property?

When owning a rental property, you must manage risks, including not receiving rental payments, market fluctuations, legal challenges, and property damage. You can mitigate some of these risks by conducting due diligence.

Can I invest in a rental property if I don’t currently live in that state?

It’s easy to buy a rental property in another state. Hire a local property management company to handle the particulars to avoid making a costly mistake. It’s also vital that you do research beforehand.

What options do I have to finance a rental property purchase?

When purchasing a rental property, you can explore partnerships, investment property loans, traditional mortgages, and private funding. Consult with a financial advisor or lender to determine which financing option is right for you.

What mistakes must I avoid when investing in rental real estate?

Poor lease agreements, improper property maintenance, underestimating expenses, and incorrectly screening tenants are the most common mistakes when investing in this type of real estate. A property management team can help you avoid these issues.

Do I need a property management company to review my rental unit?

It’s highly recommended that you hire a property management company if you don’t have the knowledge or time to do this job yourself. The company you hire will screen tenants, handle maintenance, and collect rent payments every month.


To make a sound rental property investment, it’s essential that you thoroughly research the state and property you’d like to invest in. To maximize your chances of success, explore the best rental investment states mentioned in this guide. Stay informed about the latest regulations and market trends to boost your returns and increase your portfolio’s value.

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