How to think of a state and county to research for my first list

I am brand new to REtipster. I am wanting to hear your thoughts on what made you choose the county you chose for your first list!

Is it like closing my eyes, whirling my finger around a map and choosing the place I randomly put my finger down on the map?

Please share, as I am at this very first step wanting to get a move on getting my first list.

Hi @Leah-Petrosius, welcome to the forum and to land investing. Seth wrote a blog post about picking a market that you might find helpful:

Personally, I jumped in before knowing about or reading that blog post, but I basically checked at least a few of the same boxes without knowing it. For me, I wanted to start with a county where I was comfortable that I knew the market reasonably well, in terms of what types of property and locations people would likely be willing to buy, and I started with counties that had good data available for free online, in terms of property records, tax status (paid/delinquent/total amount currently owed), and GIS, to better understand where the property was, whether it looked like it had road access, etc. So that ended up with me starting in the county I live in, first, and then moving on to the county I last lived in previously (in another state). The state I lived in before that, though, does not have good online property data, and by that point I kind of came to the opinion that I could probably figure out most of what I need to know about a new market through free online research (Zillow, etc.), so after the first two counties I've now started branching out into other places where I haven't lived, but have some of the attributes that I believe will work for me, in terms of being on the periphery of a metro area and/or in the path of growth for a given area.


Thanks for sharing that link @dl7573!

Here's one more important one worth mentioning, from @Jarenb:

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State= red state, warm climate, or near water. Look at the top 10 states people are moving too.

Counties= property should ideally be within 20 min of a small town and 1-2 hrs from a bigger city.

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To @jawollbrink's point about the states people are moving to, you might find this map helpful.