Big returns in Columbus

Realtor Lynn Pitt points a lot of that return back to the sprawling industrial and institutional landscape. “If you’re by the school, you’ll get students; if you’re by the hospital, you’ll get nurses,” she says.

Indeed, the type of renter in Columbus is about as varied as its economic landscape. “Everything from folks who are on the Section 8 program and have government-guaranteed rent, to people who are there for a two-year professorship or a two-year job and rent a high-end condo,” Jones-Cox says.

Another benefit to the Columbus market is its empty space. “There’s nothing around it but land,” Jones-Cox adds. “The next sizeable city is about an hour away and there are no natural barricades to development, like mountain ranges or an ocean.”

Even existing businesses and employment centres are drawing new jobs to the city. Pitt says it seems like every hospital in the area, including Riverside Methodist Hospital and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, is either adding new buildings or renovating existing ones.

Meanwhile, the Ohio State University, one of the largest universities in the country, draws almost 58,000 students to Columbus, and more than 43,600 employees. It, too, is growing, with its medical and tech departments expanding both physically and in terms of enrollment, faculty and funding.

“With Columbus, you can get anywhere in the city in 20 minutes,” Davis-Holsinger says. The city is revamping several of the freeways that shuttle workers into the downtown core, including highways 70, 71 and 670, among others.

“[The city is] doing an enormous amount of improvement to the highways,” Jones-Cox adds. “But that was needed as the city spread out from downtown.

But investing in Columbus isn’t all hunkydory. Purchasing property – especially investment property – in the U.S. is a complicated legal process with confusing tax repercussions.

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