Editor's note: As a special feature for April, TheStreet.com Ratings offers a 20-part series on virtually everything about real estate. This installment, which originally ran as Top 1%, is Part 18.How do you evaluate a real estate investment? For most of us -- and readers of
- Austin, Texas (VTR 17.6, future job growth 28.1%). For that matter, you could qualify most of Texas -- Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas all work. Austin has the strongest growth picture, and the rental market is strengthened by the presence of the University of Texas.
- Rochester, Minn. (VTR 17.7, FJG 12.0%). Solid, stable Rochester is home to the Mayo Clinic, bringing (unfortunately) a need for temporary housing for patients receiving treatments -- and a fair number of medical personnel on short stints.
- Rockingham County/Stafford County, N.H. (VTR 19.6, FJG 13.8). Where? Rockingham County sits on the narrow New Hampshire Atlantic Coast, just north of Massachusetts and Boston suburbs. The city of Portsmouth is a favorite for the tech industry, small businesses and telecommuters.
- Lexington, Ky. (VTR 19.3, FJG 13.3%). Home to Toyota's (TM) largest North American plant and Lexmark (LXK), Lexington is a right-sized city, and it boasts a strong college element -- the University of Kentucky.
- Atlanta, Ga. (VTR 18.7, FJG 20.5%). The vibrant strength of this market is no surprise, and there's plenty of housing available at reasonable prices. There are lots of renters too, including corporate folks there for short-term steps up the career ladder.