“Where do you recommend I start looking for investment properties?” Peter of Lynnwood, WA

I am a big proponent of investing locally. However, local can vary from person to person. I’ve heard a handful of longtime investors say that as a typical rule of thumb, they do not buy anything they can’t drive to in less than 20 minutes.  If you are a onesie-twosie type of person and there’s a problem with one of your investment properties it would be nice to be able to be there within the hour to assess what’s going on and be in a situation to fix it. Alternatively, if you need to fly, or drive for too long, managing your properties becomes very inefficient and may be more trouble than it’s worth. Within a 30 mile radius of Seattle and the greater Seattle area there are a variety of markets that offer several different price ranges. For instance, in Tacoma you can buy a property for $50-$75,000 compared to well-located Seattle neighborhoods or West Bellevue where starting prices can reach up to $800,000. Given the spectrum of opportunities for purchase in the Puget Sound Region, I don’t see a need to invest any farther than what is in our own backyard.