Posted by Nate on January 23, 2001 at 22:30:23:
Not from there, but I have lived in New England before and am familiar with the area, having done several market studies for properties there.
The problem with being a landlord in Adams, or many of the other tertiary markets in New England and the Rust Belt (think Worcester, MA, Jamestown NY, Youngstown OH, etc.), is that you have to deal with massive systemic economic problems that you are powerless to change. Aging housing stock, declining tax base, declining population, declining employment figures. Not a very good market to be a landlord in.
I don’t know what the particulars of the market in Adams are, but I did a market study for a property in North Adams (about 10 miles up the road) and the market-wide vacancy rate was 20% and had been for years.
I would suggest you approach this with the assumption that the rental market there is as bad as you could possibly imagine and has little likelihood of improving. The guy is probably desparate to get rid of his properties and may be looking to an out of town buyer because no one locally would want them. If you uncover data that suggest otherwise, please let me know!
Having said that – if, with those assumptions, the deal still makes sense, do it.