Less than popular counties

I understand the concept of selecting counties that are growing. That’s where people want to buy, so that’s where we want to sell. I’m wondering if anyone is having success in counties where population is stagnant or even falling? Some of these fit other sorting categories, such as low density and/or within 2 hours of a major population center. If you are buying there, how much longer do these properties stay on the market in relation to hotter markets? What kind of profit margin are you seeing? Or do you avoid them like the plague?

@shanebpp I’ve had plenty of success in counties with shrinking populations. In my early days of working only in Michigan, when almost every county had a shrinking population, some of these “dying” counties were still GREAT to work in. Why? Because they were still great vacation spots. People may not have wanted their primary residence in those counties, but they were still happy to visit and own land there… but their eagerness to visit wasn’t going to show up as population growth on a Census chart.

If you decide to invest in one of these areas that appear to be shrinking, just make sure there is some other redeeming value or reason why people would want to be there.

This is a thing in the self-storage industry too. Some markets have a high demand for storage even though the population doesn’t indicate it. Why? Because people vacation in those areas and have second homes and they need a place to store their stuff during the off-season.

There are always exceptions to the rule if you understand how to look beyond the numbers.


@retipsterseth thanks Seth! I live near counties that are popular vacation areas, but the local population is fading. I’ve been avoiding them, gonna give em a try now!

1 Like