How HouseCanary Helped a Single-Family Rental Investor Acquire Homes


As a single-family rental (SFR) investor with clusters of properties all over the country, our client needed help figuring out which homes to buy in existing markets.

HouseCanary solved this challenge by providing not only home valuations but also context surrounding those home valuations, including neighborhood and market statistics and data, to help our client execute quickly with full confidence in their real estate decisions.

The Challenge

The client’s challenge involved evaluating individual homes for sale in a market where the client was already established. Before HouseCanary, the client was using consumer real estate portals to attempt to learn more about homes it found listed on the MLS that might meet its business needs, but the lack of detailed information about properties, neighborhoods, and markets made this a tedious and time-consuming task.

The Solution

HouseCanary provided all the data that our client needed most — including current market value, neighborhood crime and FEMA details, rental CMAs and rental yield, and more — in an easy-to-read, quickly scannable format. We also shared dozens more pieces of information about individual homes with our client, including whether the property for sale was currently owner-occupied and whether there were any liens on the home besides the primary mortgage.

The Results

The deep, clean dataset that HouseCanary provided to our client was more objective and contained more pieces of information about individual properties, ZIP codes, and entire markets than the tools the client had previously used. The client was more confident with HouseCanary’s proprietary valuations and the quality of the data, which enabled the client to make decisions more quickly using a single platform instead of comparing and contrasting several consumer portals in an attempt to determine which was most reliable in a given area.

Property Acquisition

Like most SFR investors, our client used the local MLS to find properties for sale that might fit its business needs. Although the client had a set budget for acquiring new SFR properties and a process for establishing fair-market rent for its homes, its employees still needed a way to determine whether the seller’s price was fair in the current market; the client also wanted additional context around individual properties, such as the crime rate in the neighborhood, whether the property had been part of a FEMA or superfund event in the past, access to rental CMAs, and rental yield information.

Some factors that helped our client identify the homes that they wanted to add to the rental portfolio — or to eliminate homes from consideration — included:

  • Crime, superfund, and hazard rates
  • Rental price
  • Rental yield
  • Rental forecast
  • School district details
  • Property value within block
  • Tax and sales history