Although there are few businesses that use self storage facilities, there will be a higher concentration of commercially owned storage units in larger cities. This makes sense because houses and apartments in larger urban areas tend to be much smaller, allowing less room for extra things. Remember that storage units utilize less expensive real estate, so instead of being right in the middle of a metropolitan area, they will be located right off of major roads, and many are out of sight. Urban storage auctions tend to have more bidders, so make sure that you show up early enough to register and get ahead of the crowd.
The facilities themselves will be different as well. In suburban or rural areas there will be more of the single story rows of outside units. In high density areas it will be more common to find storage facilities that have multiple stories. Some are climate controlled indoor storage facilities.
In a rural setting, there typically will be less (or no) climate controlled storage facilities. The units themselves will mostly be rented by individuals, not businesses. You will also have to consider your mileage when you travel between rural auctions, as the cost of gas can cut into the return on your investment. Rural storage auctions have less bidders, and sometimes if you’re lucky you will be the only person to show up to the auction, which means that you can pretty much name your price on the unit.
Both units have their ups and downs, and ultimately it’s up to you as a buyer. Many storage hunters prefer more urban settings for storage auctions–but don’t let this always be your rule of thumb. You must consider the quality of the facility, the financial standing of the area it’s in, as well as how far away it is. There is always an exception to every rule, so you should definitely try both types of local storage auctions to see which works for you.