Columbia is a college town in Missouri that is home to more than 126,000 residents. A few of its major economic drivers are education, insurance, healthcare, and technology. Columbia also offers a cozy suburban feel, making it a great place to live in.

The real estate market in Columbia is thriving and offers many opportunities for investors, especially those who plan to invest in rentals. Most people in Columbia rent their homes, which means that rental property owners enjoy high market demand. With its growing population, there’s no doubt that the Columbia rental market will continue to flourish through the years.

Columbia is home to high-rated public schools and several recreational facilities, such as parks and playgrounds. It has a strong economy with plenty of job opportunities. What’s more, public safety is a top priority, making it safe and ideal for raising a family.

Plus, it is strategically positioned where tenants can access many resources within easy reach.

The 6 Best Neighborhoods to Invest in Columbia, Missouri

To be a successful investor in Columbia real estate, you have to determine the best neighborhoods to invest in. Keep in mind that while the rental market in the city of Columbia is thriving, not all neighborhoods are optimal for investing. It’s essential to be careful when choosing where your investement is located as this can either make or break your profitability.


To help you get started, the team here at Rockbridge Real Estate has compiled real estate listings listed the best Columbia neighborhoods to live and invest in.

1. Downtown Columbia

Referred to as the “Athens of Missouri”, this area is an excellent neighborhood to invest in. It is strategically located in close proximity to the University of Missouri, Columbia College of Missouri, and Stephens College. It offers a vibrant and energetic atmosphere as well as on site connection points to the city.

The downtown area has seen significant development in recent years, with new shops, restaurants, and housing opportunities popping up. It is also home to an art museum and the ballet company, making it a place for artists some of which come from the streets.

Generally, the demand for rental properties in downtown Columbia is high, making it an attractive investment option for investors. There are new businesses and residential developments in the area, which is why investing in rental properties in Downtown Columbia is a great way to generate an excellent cash flow.

One of the best neighborhoods in the area is the North Village Arts District (NVAD), which is a diverse, historic neighborhood located northeast of downtown Columbia. It is one of the nice neighbourhoods and is the main art gallery district and what looks like the center for the visual arts in Columbia—home to a variety of artists, musicians, and creative professionals making living in town more convenient.


2. East Campus

East Campus is another favorite neighborhood that’s great for renters. More than half of the locals in this neighborhood are renting their homes, and the number is continuously increasing as the population rises.

This neighborhood is adjacent to the University of Missouri campus, making it an attractive area if you want to attract students who need independent housing options. The area has a variety of housing options, including single-family homes, duplexes, and apartment complexes.

One of the best things about living in here is that it provides convenient access to schools, neighborhood restaurants, and parks. Aside from students, this area is best for young professionals, seniors and retirees.

It is also home to various community events to keep its residents entertained. Plus, the place is generally safe for both residents and visitors.

3. Rocheport

Rocheport has recently become an attractive neighbood, west of the city, for real estate investors. Located in Boone County, the city is home to historic buildings and architectural structures.

Residents will never be bored in the area as they can access several attractions, including the Francis Quadrangle, Katy Trail State Park, Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, Mizzou Arena, Museum of Art and Archaeology, and the Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area.


Due to these attractions and outdoor activities, Rocheport is one of the favorite destinations for people visiting Missouri. A significant driver of the city’s economy is its tourism industry. Rocheport is also a great place for investing in vacation rentals.

4. Old Hawthorne

If you prefer to invest in a luxury home and rent out to high-end tenants, Old Hawthorne is your best bet. Old Hawthorne is a neighborhood with an upscale subdivision located just east of Stephens Lake Park. It features a portfolio of amenities, including a clubhouse, golf course, and swimming pool.

Homes in this area range from smaller homes to larger estate properties. It also offers other housing options like low-maintenance condominiums, town homes, villa homes, and patio homes.

The proximity to Stephens Lake Park and other benefits make Old Hawthorne an attractive location for homebuyers and renters alike—making it an ideal place to invest in.

5. Ashland

Located just 15 minutes from downtown Columbia, Ashlands gives off a small-town vibe. What’s best about this is that while you and your neighbours can enjoy a suburban atmosphere, they can easily access the amenities of the city.


Ashland is a great place for raising a family with kids. There are plenty of family-friendly activities, and it is also home to several recreational attractions. Home owners can visit the ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum and Schneider Museum of Art, have a picnic by the side of Emigrant Lake and enjoy the picturesque view of Mount Ashland.

6. Hartsburg

A village located in the south part of Boone County, Hartsburg is only a 25-minute drive from Downtown Columbia. The village has recently become a magnet for real estate listings and investors. It is a great place in Boone County to consider investing in if you want to invest in long-term rental housing.

Hartsburg offers above-average livability. Plus, the cost of living in Hartsburg is generally lower compared to the national average and most other cities in Boone County, Missouri. It is also home to high-quality schools, so if you want to attract renters with school-aged children, this place is a great option to consider.


Columbia, MO offers numerous investment opportunities for real estate investors, specifically those who plan to rent out their homes to young professionals, small families, students, and retirees. It is one of the best palces to invest!

If you plan to invest in Columbia real estate, make sure to choose your location wisely, get detailed information about the area and assess the safety of the area before you buy an investment property. When done correctly, Columbia offers great potential for long-term real estate investments.

If you have any questions about investing in Columbia, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Rockbridge Real Estate!