I just completed an article with price to rent ratios in Gwinnett County. Check out the web reference and let me know what you think.
As I tell them, before even looking at a home you need to have a team of experts that you trust with your financial life - because when things go wrong you will lose money - potentially lots of it. I know, I'm a foreclosure appraiser as well as broker - I see "investor" homes that just roll back to the banks on a regular basis. This is a tough business.
You might find this helpful - http://hounddogrealestate.com/2012/04/19/are-you-an-investor
I have been a Realtor for years, and also have several investment properties. I recommend looking in Cobb County (Marietta, Kennesaw, etc.) and sticking with good school districts. Even when times are rough in real estate, renters are always looking for good school districts for their children. http://www.schooldiggers.com is a great website which shares school ratings. From a price standpoint, going with a single family home with 3-4 bedrooms/2 baths - that is what investors call a Bread and Butter House... you will always be able to rent it if rent rate is reasonable.
I would be glad to assist you in your investment home search. http://www.susanedwards.net
The greatest areas r Midtown, Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Vinings, Dunwoody.
A lot of businesses are located there so its easier to rent out the property +
the value goes up pretty fast.
Houses r pricy there but you can find pretty cheap condos with low HOA.
Let me know if I can help you
As others have noted here, where you want to invest, and what you want to invest in, starts with your goals and your business plan. Good rental income opportunities can be found in every county in metro Atlanta. I suggest you work with a financial planner, a lender, and a Realtor to determine what makes sense for you.
If you want to buy to rent, also look in the Hall and Gwinnett areas. More specifically, Gainesville, Buford, Norcross, Duluth, Snellville, Lilburn, Sugar Hill (not sure which county that is). I've seen rental incomes there for $1000 on a $60k property (still up for grabs). The hispanic community seems to be migrating to Auburn, GA as Gainesville is too expensive. Houses run at 20k as is (45k ARV). I can lend up to 80% using fannie mae. If you go to homepath.com, a 640 score gets you 10% down. If credit is bad, I can go to 70%, single digit rates (no income, no credit), no prepay penalty.
My name is Buddy Boone and have been a realtor, real estate investor, and managed real estate for over 35 years in Atlanta as well as other markets. The smartest and safest way to invest in real estate is to deal with true professions that can offer a turnkey approach to investing and managing property using a financial game plan.
Go to this website.: realtybiz.mystrongbrook.com This company offers financial planning for people that want to invest in hot real estate markets including Atlanta, without much of the risk and headaches and do all the "heavy lifting" for you. The best thing going!
If I can help, feel free to call or e-mail me with any questions.