I was thrilled to no end when my friend, Kimberly, approached me at our sons’ football game over at Prince Field last weekend to ask about buying, rehabbing, and selling houses. I knew she’d been thinking about becoming a real estate investor and that, if she ever decided to take the leap, her hard-working entrepreneurial spirit would give her the leg up. And, as a father of three kids who has been flipping houses in Miami for years, I’m always encouraged to see more men and women investing in real estate, too—especially when they’ve got families who need their support.
Of course, among Kimberly’s main concerns were where to buy investment property in Florida since she was under the impression that the right time to invest in Miami might have passed her by. I laughed and told her she didn’t need to look any further than the city we both call home. There are always opportunities to build a promising investing career here. You just have to know where to look to find the best leads—and have a friend, like me, to show you how.
Why Flipping Houses in Miami Still Holds Promise
To Kim’s credit, I’m glad she was already thinking ahead. She wasn’t just interested in learning the nuts and bolts of starting a fix and flip business. She was equally focused on investing in a good area that could potentially give her access to great deals. And, with homes staying on the market for an average of 96 days before selling at about 4% below asking, according to Realtor.com, her apprehension about whether it’s the right time to invest in Miami makes sense. As with most things, however, there’s more to the story than what these numbers alone provide.
For example, if you look at the trajectory of Miami’s real estate market in the years since the housing crash, you’ll notice an overall upward trend in home values and the number of sales. In fact, just in the last three years, median home sales prices have gone from just over $215,000 to almost $337,000. This is due, in large part, to increasing demand. And, that’s placed Miami among the ranks of some of the nation’s most valuable housing markets.
Even with prices rising at a less dramatic pace in the last year, Miami’s popularity is giving cities like Los Angeles and New York a run for the money. That means, as an investor who knows how to buy at the right price, you can potentially make money flipping houses in Miami by meeting the demand of homeowners who are running full speed to live here.
Buying distressed houses at a price that yields potentially good returns may not be so difficult to do in Miami, either—this year or next. Though foreclosures filings have dropped across the country by 18% from this time last year, Miami is bucking this trend, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. Overall foreclosure activity is up by 7% year-over-year and foreclosure starts have increased by 32%. So, it appears that some Miami residents are experiencing enough financial distress to put them behind on their mortgages. If you find them before things go from bad to worse for these distressed homeowners, you just might be able to land a good deal and do your neighbors a good deed.
The opportunities for investing are broad in Miami. Very often where you’ll find distressed properties are in those neighborhoods on the cusp of transitioning. But, up-and-coming communities aren’t the only places you should look for homes whose owners want to sell fast. More established neighborhoods experiencing a surge in growth and popularity can provide solid investment opportunities, too. Residents on a fixed income, like small families and retirees, don’t always welcome the rise of their neighborhood’s status—or the increased cost of living that may come with it—and be just as eager to move out as others are to move in.
The Best Miami Neighborhoods to Buy, Renovate, and Sell Homes
Throughout 2020, you can expect to see several Miami neighborhoods undergo some degree of change. And, that could mean more change in your pocket if you start buying houses to renovate and sell now. Here are just a few neighborhoods where you may find great deals.
Frequently referred to as an upscale neighborhood because of its location along the Biscayne Bay and the multi-million dollar homes that dot the bay’s shore, Coconut Grove may seem like a pricey Miami hotspot—depending on your point of reference. Some areas, like its commercial center, however, slipped into disrepair for years, effectively driving out old businesses and losing the interest of new ones. This helped to thwart the interest of homeownership in Coconut Grove for those who couldn’t afford to live on the beach.
Now that a number of revitalization plans for the neighborhood have been approved, the future of the community-at-large is looking pretty bright. With an emphasis on mixed-use developments that support the blending of work and home, and local initiatives to draw a variety of businesses back in, Coconut Grove’s reputation as the place to be is already rising. The more popular it gets, the more demand for local homeownership there will be.
Even with the ups and downs, this neighborhood has had, your price point for investing in Coconut Grove will still be higher than many other parts of Miami. You can thank its proximity to the beach for that. But, with median home sales prices expected to rise as the neighborhood’s hip-factor grows, your returns could be substantial, too, and make your real estate investments worth it.
Locally known by a variety of names, from Lemon City to Little River, the neighborhood of Little Haiti is more widely known for its large population of Haitian immigrants. With Caribbean-inspired murals and architecture on view at every corner—and the language of Creole being spoken effortlessly there, too—its welcoming reputation for cultural diversity is certainly well-deserved and always on display.
Perhaps lesser known to those who don’t already live in the area is the support of small and family-owned businesses, as well as the arts, that has started to make Little Haiti more than a little hip. Of course, the relatively low cost of housing in the area also doesn’t hurt—especially as the price of living in other parts of Miami continues to soar.
Make no mistake, however: the cost of buying a home in Little Haiti is going up thanks to ever-increasing demand. Millennials, in particular, are drawn to the area and that has helped to push median list prices higher. Currently at $270,000, prices are trending up by 4.2% year-over-year. And, those numbers are only going to get hotter in 2020. That means you may want to start seeking good deals now so that you can be ready to sell your rehabbed Little Haiti homes once things really heat up.
South of Little Haiti, and just as hot, is the former pineapple farm of old Buena Vista now known as the Design District. As its new name implies, the area is home to fashion boutiques, upscale art galleries, trendy eateries, and the Design and Architecture Senior High School—one of the best public high schools in the nation. Word has spread about the neighborhood’s sophisticated sensibilities, so its popularity with would-be home buyers has evolved, too.
But, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that word first got out that the Design District had finally cleaned up. Before then, the area was better known for abandoned and decrepit buildings than for the warehouse-turned-lofts that adorn the neighborhood now. The shift came when restoration money finally started to flow—from both public resources and private real estate investors. Once sidewalks got repaired and new businesses opened their doors, people stopped avoiding the Design District and, instead, began buying homes.
As you can imagine, flipping houses was profitable for the real estate investors who got in early and bought low. But, that doesn’t mean your chance of realizing potentially good returns has gone out of fashion. Demand for homeownership is still high in the Design District and, with inventory expected to squeeze as demand continues to grow in 2020, median home sales prices will push even higher. The challenge will be to find a home here that is priced below market value by a homeowner who needs to sell fast. For that, you’ll need a real estate investment lead generation system that is the best in its class.
Though the boundaries of unincorporated West Kendall are not exact—and often vary depending on which resident you ask—people know where this suburban oasis is. They know because they hope to someday move there. Once only a rural community built to support local farmers who owned and worked West Kendall’s agricultural fields, the neighborhood has grown into a homey mainstay for professionals, young families, and retirees who want to live in Miami without living in Miami.
In fact, its 90-minute commute into downtown is seen as more of an asset than not. With plenty of retail and restaurants, and a relatively new hospital—West Kendall Baptist—in town, it’s not hard to see why. Living the good life is easy in West Kendall. It’s affordable, too. And, if you need more nightlife in a more neon-lit setting, downtown Miami isn’t that far away—especially not when you think about the commutes most New Yorkers have to make.
The best part of West Kendall, however, is the opportunity it provides in helping you build a career out of flipping homes. Median home list prices are trending up by 6.5% year-over-year and houses are selling, on average, very close to list. Prices are expected to rise higher in 2020, too, as more budget-conscious buyers decide to live close to, but not in the heart of, the city. Maintaining a better-than-average profit margin on your flipped homes will require you to stay on top of your budget as well, so you’ll need to know how to correctly analyze every real estate deal.
Having done this for so long, I don’t have any doubt that, as the years roll by, the investment opportunities these neighborhoods currently promise will give way to better deals elsewhere. That’s just the nature of the real estate market in Miami—and everywhere else, for that matter. So, to every new investor, like Kim, who comes to me for advice on where they should buy, rehab, and sell homes, I tell them the same thing. To turn flipping houses into a good business and maintain a strong foothold in the real estate market, you’ve got to have ongoing access to qualified leads because they can come from anywhere. And, if you don’t, resolve to change that in 2020.
Resolve to Invest in Your Career By Getting Better Leads
Back when I first started flipping houses in Miami, I quickly came to realize that I was in over my head and that, without a little help, my investing career might drown. My problem was that I was running all over town chasing every possible lead, often ending up at a dead end with no deal. In some ways, it reminded me of how I use to chase my kids around when they were little, fruitlessly trying to get them to calm down, put their toys away, and wash up for dinner. Sometimes, it worked; usually, it didn’t. But, in the end, I was always exhausted.
Just as I resolved to change up my strategy for effectively wrangling the kids, I became determined to find a better way of getting access to more qualified real estate investment leads. To my surprise, it was much easier than I expected—once I became an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee.
As a Miami-based HomeVestors® franchisee, I have access to the kind of marketing tools and resources that generate qualified leads all year long and from just about every Miami neighborhood. The nationally-known and trusted “We Buy Ugly Houses®” ad campaign, in particular, is one of the most effective lead-generating tools I’ve ever come across. After distressed Miami homeowners see one of the ads on a billboard or TV, or even hear it on the radio, they call for help with selling their home.
And, those qualified leads come directly to me. So, I no longer run around town and into dead ends that I’d hoped would be good deals. Now that Kimberly is also a local franchisee, she won’t have to, either.
With limited franchise opportunities available in Miami, there is no time like the present to request more information about joining the “We Buy Ugly Houses®” team. As a local franchisee, you’ll have access to some of the best Miami qualified real estate investment leads in 2020 and beyond.