Olathe, Kansas: Spotlight On Why I Like This Real Estate Market

Olathe KansasOlathe, Kansas has been mentioned by me time and time again as a real estate market that I am enamored with.  Sure, I live here.  But there is much more to it.  For real estate investors and Joe & Mary Homebuyer alike Olathe offers the opportunity for solid appreciation even in these tougher times.  If it’s alright with you I’m going to take a minute and show you (and link you) to what I’m talking about.

Top 15 City in America
As recently as 2006 when CNNMoney ranked the Top 100 Cities in America, Olathe finished #13.  Neighboring Overland Park finished #6.  Olathe currently has a population hovering around 114,500 (up 2,400 since 2006) and a Median Family Income right around $79,100. 

Olathe Housing Stats
The Kansas City Star’s zip code appreciation map shows the two predominant Olathe zip codes with appreciation over the last year.  66061 came in at 4.3% while 66062 came in at 7.6%.  Olathe Housing Stats smallAnd as you can see by clicking on the image for Olathe Housing Stats for the last six months that we are still  selling homes at a pretty good pace.  I showed here on our Olathe Real Estate blog that inventory for single family homes is at about a four months.  Technically, still a Seller’s Market even though people got spoiled by the markets of past years where you would sell a house in 45 days or less, sometimes. 

Garmin OlatheOlathe Job Growth
Olathe is really doing well in the Job Growth category, as well.  I’ve written here before how Ft. Dodge Animal Health has moved in.  Along with Farmer’s Insurance.  A multitude of call centers are relocating to Olathe, too.  US Bank has a large tech center here in Olathe now.  And we haven’t even mentioned that the world headquarters of Garmin is located right here in Olathe. 

Jobs seem to be coming to Olathe every month.  To keep up with the growth of jobs in and around Olathe I would encourage you to visit the Olathe Chamber of Commerce’s Breaking Newspage.  I think you’ll find the website by the Olathe Chamber to be very easy to navigate and one of the most informative Chamber sites I’ve ever visited. 

Olathe’s Quality of Life
Want to know the reason I live in Olathe?  The Olathe School District.  Period. As a father of four (two with special needs) I needed a school district that could work with my children.  We interviewed the three predominant school districts in Johnson County, Kansas and felt strongly Olathe was where we could be best served.  Because in addition to the two special needs kids we have one that is on an Advanced Placement path.  And as we enter his high school years he is going to get to take advantage of the Olathe School District’s 21st Century Program.  He’ll be taking part in Olathe Northwest High School’s e-Communications Program.  We can hardly wait.Olathe Homes

In addition, Olathe is easy to navigate.  Has quite a few parks for your enjoyment including Heritage Park, the Indian Creek Trailway and Frontier Park where the City hosts a series of free concerts every year.  I’m usually in attendance. 

Olathe’s Potential For Real Estate Investment
Olathe is not a “cash flow” city.  At least in my mind.  It will usually take you about 20% down to break-even on a duplex here or about 25%-30% to break-even on a single family house.  But having said that, there are few areas around Kansas City…or the Midwest for that matter…that you are going to get better long term, steady growth. 

So for my investors I will usually recommend they have only part of their portfolio parked in Olathe.  If you own five investment properties I might recommend two be in Olathe and the other three be in cities where you will be able to leverage your money more in the 90% LTV range.  Because just like it’s nice to diversify your investment holdings it’s nice to diversify your real estate investments.

A for instance would be of a “pocket listing” I have.  It’s a duplex with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths per side.  Rents are a steady $750 with vacancies nearly non-existent.  So you have a Gross Scheduled Income of $18,000.  Asking price is $191,000.  Your Gross Rent Multiplier is 10.61.  Not too shabby. 

Closing Thoughts on Olathe
I hope you have enjoyed our little tour of Olathe.  If you are thinking of moving to Olathe take some real time to follow the links and explore our city.  Give myself or our team a call or contact us if you need help selecting housing that is suitable for you and your family. 

If you are a real estate investor be sure to ask for specific examples if you are looking to add a rental property or two to your investment portfolio. 


Filed under Kansas City neighborhoods, Olathe

2 responses to “Olathe, Kansas: Spotlight On Why I Like This Real Estate Market

  1. Another Investor

    Thanks for the tour! The median household income is higher than in many big city suburbs, and it explains why your schools are good and there are so many amenities. Schools, public and private amenities, and proximity to high paying employers all contribute to the desirability of a location and therefore to the rentability of properties there.

    Renters in good locations are after the same things as buyers in the same areas. They will pay a little higher rent or accept a little less house to get the desirable location. As long as renting is less expensive than owning, they tend to stay longer and cause fewer problems than renters in marginal areas do.

    The patient, long term investor does well in places like Olathe. Hold out for bargains, use leverage conservatively, and you will be happy with the results.

  2. Olathe is a very educated city which explains the high median income. Seems like everyone I know went to a university for at least a couple years.

    And thanks for pointing out again that renters and buyers have the same wants and needs. Everyone wants a good clean, safe place to live. Everyone.

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