4 real estate 'hotspots' outside NYC that investors should target in 2020, according to a 15-year industry veteran

  • Dawn Pfaff is the founder of NY State MLS, the real estate tech platform now known as State Listings, Inc., and has 15 years of real-estate industry experience as an investor, broker, agent, and appraiser. 
  • In an interview with Business Insider, she broke down the three New York counties she thinks investors should target this year, and the one area in the state that "always seems to appreciate."
  • Orange and Dutchess Counties both made the list. 
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Smart buyers know location makes a huge difference in real estate. 

And that holds true even in places like New York state, according to Dawn Pfaff. 

Pfaff has been in real estate for more than 15 years as an investor, appraiser, agent, and broker. Over a decade ago, she founded NY State MLS, a nationwide multiple listing service and real estate tech firm that is now known as State Listings, Inc.

Though the pandemic's affect on the New York real estate market has had hard effects on the city, the state's suburbs and even rural areas have been fielding high demand and low inventory since the pandemic's onset in March.

Pfaff highlighted four markets that should be strong for investors.

1. Orange County

"Orange, Ulster and Dutchess counties are the Hudson Valley hotspots which are ripe for investment," Pfaff said. 

"There is still enough land to build new construction, but there is also a huge opportunity to buy, fix, and flip properties and rentals in these markets." 

2. Dutchess County

"The Hudson Valley is close enough to New York City to commute by train, bus or car," Pfaff said.

"The area allows people who felt trapped in the city during COVID-19 a way to find some space and clean air, while still being close enough to commute to their jobs in the city."

3. Ulster County

"I can attest firsthand to the fact that the rental vacancy rate seems less than zero. Most landlords have waiting lists," Pfaff said.  

She added that for investors looking to buy rural, another hot New York investment are mobile home parks. "Investors want these types of properties as affordable housing in New York is almost nonexistent."

4. The Hamptons

The Hamptons "is currently on fire for residential seasonal rentals," according to Pfaff.

"That is a place that investors can find a nice return and also a good place to hold wealth in property. The values there always seem to appreciate." 

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