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Resources for Kalamazoo Rental Investors/Owners/Landlords

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My favorite part of managing rental properties is sharing what I've learned with others and having that knowledge positively affect their rental investment outcomes. If you have any questions about getting started or increasing your current rental portfolio's cashflow, please schedule a time to chat below: 

Taylor Long

Managing Director at August PM

Best Kalamazoo Neighborhoods for Rental Property

Updated: May 7, 2021

Click on the map below for rental information on each neighborhood!

At a Glance: Expected Rental Performance


How we weighed each variable:

40% Cap Rate (Higher is better)

25% Vacancy (Lower is better)

25% Crime (Lower is better)

10% Income-Rent Ratio (Lower is better)


1. Neighborhoods with an expected <10% cap rate are not viable.

2. Neighborhoods with crime rates of >200% national average are not viable.

In-Depth: Kalamazoo Rental Performance

The Best


The Vine Neighborhood

Cap Rate: 16%

Vacancy Rate: 4.8%

Income – Rent Ratio: 52%

Crime Rate: 136% HIGHER THAN National Average

The Vine Neighborhood has been a favorite of Real Estate Investors for a long time now. The area has high cap rates and low vacancy. Many residents are either college students at WMU or K-College or work nearby. While this neighborhood is within walking distance to the Central Business District, it also hosts numerous stores, restaurants, and coffee shops.


Cap Rate: 16%

Vacancy Rate: 6%

Income – Rent Ratio: 90%

Crime Rate: 81% HIGHER THAN National Average

Knollwood properties may cost more than those in the vine neighborhoods, but benefit from high demand from students at WMU. Most listed properties here have 4-6 or even 7 bedrooms and see similar returns as the properties within the Vine neighborhood. Many larger buildings can rent out at more than $2,000. Investors may also be interested in owning any of the small multi-unit, student properties in this area.

South Westnedge

Cap Rate: 10%

Vacancy Rate: 5.7%

Income – Rent Ratio: 25%

Crime Rate: 6% HIGHER THAN National Average

While this neighborhood does not boast the highest cap rate, residents in South Westnedge have a very low rent-to-income ratio and there is less crime here than almost anywhere else in the city. The average tenancy duration is more than 1.5 years and renters have a high income stability.


Cap Rate: 14%

Vacancy Rate: 4.8%

Income – Rent Ratio: 57%

Crime Rate: 183% HIGHER THAN National Average

The smallest of the Kalamazoo neighborhoods that we've analyzed, Stuart sits adjacent to the campus of Kalamazoo College. Each year the college has around 300 off-campus students that seek nearby rentals, meaning vacancy is lower. While the average home price may be higher in the neighborhood, higher rents mean a decent cap rate--14% in this case.


Cap Rate: 11%

Vacancy Rate: 4.8%

Income – Rent Ratio: 32%

Crime Rate: 8% HIGHER THAN National Average

The Oakland/Winchell neighborhood is one of the safest in Kalamazoo. Though this neighborhood doesn't boast an exceedingly high cap rate, tenants here are usually long-term and stable. However, finding properties here may be difficult due to the low availability of properties on the market within the neighborhood.

*Honorable Mentions: West Main Hill & Central Business District

The Worst


Westnedge Hill

Cap Rate: 6%

Vacancy Rate: 12.2%

Income – Rent Ratio: 19%

Crime Rate: 30% HIGHER THAN National Average

Westnedge Hill has one of the lowest crime rates in Kalamazoo and the average home in here costs around $172,000, making it an ideal place for well-to-do families that want to live within a short drive to the downtown. However, rents have a low ceiling for the types of properties found here, usually around $1,000.


Cap Rate: 8%

Vacancy Rate: 5%

Income – Rent Ratio: 25%

Crime Rate: 84% HIGHER THAN National Average

Milwood lacks a large student population, but boasts a low income-to-rent ratio and low vacancy, meaning the area is very rent stable. However, properties within this neighborhood average an 8% cap rate, which moves this neighborhood to our "Not Recommended" category.