Welcome to the forum!
I’m sure you’ll hear 100 different ideas, but here’s our take on where to be in the U.S. – and most of these places are not far from Canada.
We’ve got over 7,000 lots in 17 states. Those states are all in the Great Plains (Texas to Canada in the middle of the U.S.) and the Midwest (the states just to the right of the Great Plains, only starting at Illinois and going up). We also have a couple anomoly states such as South Carolina, which are deals we bought because the fundamentals were so good we went outside our normal territory.
Why do we like these two basic zones? We like the 1) quality of tenants 2) strength of the markets 3) high collections 4) desirability to lenders. To us, these are the best markets in the U.S. for our product of affordable housing.
At the same time, we have respect for all 49 states (there are no parks in Hawaii), and believe there are probably good deals in all of them, if you know them well. But on a macro scale – if we had to pick and choose outside of our established territory – we would probably gravitate to the northeast and northwest. But that’s based on assumptions that those markets are the most similar to ours, and not based on actual experience.
We’re basically a Great Plains and Midwest company at this point.