Investing in Rural Areas

As a real estate investor or someone considering real estate investment, you’ve likely heard about the advantages associated with urban investment properties. For those looking for turnkey investments, especially, a metro area offers a high percentage of renters and a reliable infrastructure. Rural areas on the outskirts of major metropolitan areas, however, offer a range of advantages and are growing as we speak in response to urban booms. 

Birmingham – A Case Study

Birmingham residents clock an average 29.86-minute commute, spending an average $619.69 a year on maintenance costs, $748.75 a year on fuel and $7,276.53 in overall commute costs annually.

In Jefferson County, the majority of commuters come in from the counties surrounding Jefferson.  More than 41,000 commuters a day head in from Shelby County, more than 15,000 from St. Clair County and about 11,000 drive in from Blount County. Walker and Tuscaloosa counties contributed the next highest amounts, accounting for about 6,300 and 5,500 commuters each. 

This is all the result of a rather seismic boom in population growth in the region. Between 1990 and 2010, the Birmingham metro population grew from 940,000 to 1.1 million, while average commutes grew from 23 to 26 minutes. As the population boomed, metro residents by necessity pushed out into suburban areas and beyond. 

Drivers with long journeys find ways to cope and adjust, trading long commutes for quality of life and calmer surroundings in the outskirts. As urban growth continues in the Birmingham metro area, it would only follow that counties such as Talladega would soon begin taking in more and more urban workers prepared for a commute. Smaller communities such as Sylacauga or Childersburg will soon invite more development and take in more residents looking for alternatives to urban living. Is investing in these outskirts, then, a viable option for you as an investor? Let’s consider the pros.  

Less Competition and Lower Prices

There are a large number of properties available in America’s rural landscape and that means one important thing for an investor— less competition. Multiple properties paired with low demand translates into minimal or non-existent competition in most rural areas. When compared to the fierce competition in major metropolitan areas, this can almost come as a relief. More importantly, however, it means picking up properties at a price that all but guarantees an ROI. 

Rural areas with their lower prices also can mean diversifying across multiple properties. You can look on a rural area as a way to expand and balance your portfolio through multiple investments. 

Expansion and Development

When you are a turnkey real estate investor, long term is the name of the game. Investing in a rural area is the definition of long-term planning. As cities and urban areas like Birmingham continue to expand, more development in these outskirts will happen. Being strategic with a rural property purchase can mean getting in at the right time before development and expansion happen, then reaping the benefits.

Suburban Counties Are Thriving

Suburban counties are experiencing growth and expansion across Alabama. Shelby County, located outside of Jefferson, grew by 11 percent in the last year, while Limestone County grew by an impressive 19 percent. More people are moving to these hub communities and, in turn, these communities are responding with investments in infrastructure. All in, it means more potential for outlying regions. 

Location is key, we all know this. Sometimes, however, the right location might surprise you when it comes to investing. To explore your options with turnkey investments in rural areas, visit the Spartan team at

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