Jack Cronin found homes in the San Francisco area too expensive or too far from downtown to buy when he lived there in 2020. The technologist still wanted a piece of the hottest housing market in his lifetime, so he started looking further afield.
Last year, the 28-year-old used a website called Roofstock, which provides listings and data for investors interested in rental properties, to buy a three-bedroom home outside Jackson, Miss., for $265,000. Mr. Cronin, who now lives in New York City, has never visited Jackson or met the tenants of his home, lightly landscaped with shrubs and crepe myrtle trees. It is enough to know that a management company collects $2,300 a month in rent for him.