September 3, 2019

With autumn on the way, many people feel drawn to the Northeast and parts of the Midwest to experience the vibrant colors of the season.

This behavior provides a boon for property owners who rent out homes on temporary lodging sites such as Airbnb as well as those who manage longer-term tenancies. How can landlords make the most of this wonderful time of year?

It all starts with what real estate agents call location, location, location. If you have natural beauty surrounding your properties, get out there with your camera as the leaves begin to change. Add cozy touches to residences to attract higher rent payments. If you're looking to expand your investment property portfolio, here are eight great cities and towns to consider.

1. Fort Wayne, IN (View Rent Comp Report)

Nestled in the center of three rivers, historic Fort Wayne offers big city conveniences with a small-town feel. The city boasts a population of nearly 300,000 and offers 15 museums for lovers of art and history to explore. Those of a spiritual bent will adore the city's nickname — the "City of Churches" — stemming from the fact that the municipality maintains 360 houses of worship.

Looking to get outdoors to alleviate the blues the natural way? The city has 86 parks to delight your love of the great outdoors. Feeling hungry? You'll find a number of restaurants with a wide variety of cuisines.

2. Durham, NC (View Rent Comp Report)

If your tenants want fall leaves to explore, they have over 96,000 acres of hardwood and evergreens to frolic in around Durham, NC. Even though the area feels rural, the proximity to major metro centers holds appeal. This region boasts over 300,000 square feet of meeting space, making it a popular venue for business leaders to converge. Landlords who own short-term vacation rentals can clean up nicely during peak times of the year — including autumn.

Whether your tenants enjoy spending their weekends engaging in retail therapy or heading to the great outdoors, they'll find lots to do here. During baseball season, they can even see the Durham Bulls play for relatively little dough.

3. Boston, MA (View Rent Comp Report)

Even though Beantown's favorite "Sawks" won't likely make the post-season this year, autumn is the perfect time to explore New England. If you own downtown apartment buildings, tenants will adore visiting the Public Garden at Boston Commons to view fall foliage. If your tenants love all things spooky, the city's proximity to Salem, MA, will delight them. They can take in a spooky walking ghost tour to get them in the mood for midnight festivities.

4. Washington, DC (View Rent Comp Report)

If you rent your properties out on a short-term basis, you can't go wrong with investing in the nation's capital. You'll attract a higher-caliber tenant who may remain in the city for only a few weeks or months, but who nevertheless will care for your property with respect.

Do your tenants live to eat instead of eating to live? If so, they'll adore the city's wide variety of ethnic cuisine. Whether they want a taste of Ethiopian cuisine or Thai, they can find noms nearly any hour of the day — or night!

5. Door County, WI (View Rent Comp Report)

Wonderful Wisconsin is home to much more than cheeseheads and the Green Bay Packers. In the fall, colors erupt in a vibrant festival of hues. Your tenants will feel like they've died and been reborn in autumnal heaven.

Whether your tenants want to explore their spiritual side or enjoy family fun with the little ones, they'll find plenty to do in Door County. Water lovers will enjoy exploring the 11 historic lighthouses as well as boating on the lake.

6. Bar Harbor, ME (View Rent Comp Report)

Do you have seafood lovers on your list of preferred tenants? If so, consider investing in property in Bar Harbor, ME. The cost of living ranks as slightly higher than average, but that will allow you to charge steeper rents. And with the proximity to nearby Acadia National Forest, nature enthusiasts will gladly cough up the extra dough.

7. Pittsburgh, PA (View Rent Comp Report)

If money is a concern, you'll appreciate the lower cost of living in Steel City. Housing costs nearly 25% less than in other areas of the country, making it easy to locate suitable properties that fit your budget.

Pittsburgh offers a riot of color in the fall months. It's ranked as one of the best places in the world to visit repeatedly, so short-term rental owners can make a tidy living. From visiting one of the many museums to boating on the river, your tenants will enjoy a wide variety of recreational activities.

8. Cape May, NJ (View Rent Comp Report)

Whether you invest in a historic Victorian mansion and divide it into apartments or simply scoop up a few condominiums, you'll find attracting quality tenants to Cape May easy, especially in the fall. Art lovers will love the Autumn Crafts and Collectibles Show coming at the beginning of October.

Because of the proximity to the ocean, seafood lovers can gorge themselves inexpensively, and autumn is the best time for chowing down.

Nearby neighbor Maryland blue crabs come into season in November, so savvy landlords hoping to take advantage of the influx of tourists during this time will do well to get cracking on their advertising efforts.

Locating the Best Rental Properties in the Fall

Whether you prefer vacation rentals or longer-term tenancies, autumn is the perfect time to attract new lifeblood to your Northeast and Midwest properties. If you're looking to make new investments, the time is now to up your search efforts.

About the Author: Kayla Matthews is a smart home journalist and real estate writer whose work has been featured on Houzz, Dwell, Inman and Curbed. To read more from Kayla, check out her blog: Productivity Bytes.