Good and essential question but one with no single clear answer. When trying to determine what a unit will rent for I do all of the below and more. Here's is a list of data to gather:
1) http://www.Apartmentguide.com, http://www.rents.com and probably more. These site are easy to use and give you an idea of what a comparable unit in the area would rent for. You will have to adjust for the differences. Also, don't be afraid to call these apartments and let them know you are comping an area and looking for rental information. The leasing agent will usually tell you rental and occupancy information as well as an idea of the market conditions.
2) You should drive the area looking for rental signs. Call the numbers on the signs and ask for rental information. I always explain honestly why I am calling and most owners have no problem disclosing information.
3) Check out craigslist. This is where I pick up most of my renters and again the owners that put the ads there usually are ok with giving you information about the unit.
4) Ask to see the rent roll or the previous rental history of the unit., This is critical.
Getting the rent correct is a key ingredient in the investment so I always take the all of the above and more approach. There is no excuse for getting the rents wrong.
All the best,,
Sea Coast Exclusive Properties
North San Diego County
When you understand these items you wont care about local rent rates, it will simplify the process and directly tell you how much money your investment is paying you and therefore the true value of the property your going to purchase.
Feel free to email me and I'll give you some info...
This one offers a free trial, you get one report free.
Keep in mind that these tools are a decent guage for rental rates. Of course, just like with zillow.com there are some faults that go with the technology. It doesnâ€™t take into account the condition, upgrades, etc. of the property. I would just use these sites as a quick guideâ€¦ but wouldnâ€™t make hard decisions based on it.
You can try rentometer.com for some general info, but I would not rely on it. You would be well served to visit with a local real estate broker or large property manager.
We specialize in helping investors buy and sell investment property.
Nick Rhea, MBA & Broker
Bombora Investments, Inc
2bd/1tbh in front and 1bth/1bd in back - 2 separate buildings.
Shoot me an email and I'll give you some more info
The 2 bd would rent for about 1400. The 1 bd would rent for 8-900.