When an old classmate of mine called me up from New York to say that he was moving back home to Indy, I knew there had to be a story there. Don had left Indianapolis after college to make his way in the Big Apple as a stockbroker, he could not wait to get there. Now, it seemed, he couldn’t wait to come back. So, once he landed back in town and I had a chance to dig a little deeper, I took him out for a beer over at Kilroy’s.
As it turns out, Don had left his work as a stockbroker to become a real estate investor like me. Unfortunately, he found that the costs of renting out houses and apartments there didn’t offset the trouble of keeping them in his portfolio. So, he’d started turning his attention toward home again, having recently read that house flipping in Indianapolis was a good business to get into. As long as you know where the opportunities are, I told him, business here can actually be pretty great.
Great Opportunities for House Flipping in Indianapolis
Becoming a real estate investor in Indianapolis was something I knew I wanted to do from the moment I walked out of my last class at Indiana University way back in the day. The housing market here is relatively stable—even during the worst of times—compared to other cities around the U.S. and the economy, overall, is consistently strong, too. So, I knew I could make a good business out of flipping houses. And, provided I kept my ear to the ground for great investment opportunities, and did my best to make the most of them, I suspected I could also create a long, fulfilling career.
I still think that Indy is a great place to hang your hat—for all the reasons listed above and then some. The housing market is not just holding steady, it’s steadily improving. The number of foreclosures continues to drop and median home sales prices keep going up. In fact, by the end of 2018’s third quarter, the median home sales price jumped another seven percent to more than $184,000 from the previous year, according to the MIBOR Realtor® Association. And, home sellers have regularly been getting almost 100% of their asking price. Of course, if you’ve been buying single-family homes as investment property in the last few years to rehab and resell, as I have, you’d know this first-hand.
In addition, even with minor quarter-to-quarter fluctuations, unemployment remains low in the area which helps to further strengthen the housing market. At 3.5%, Indy’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And, with more industries, like healthcare and information technology, offering more job opportunities, that number is likely to stay low in the coming year. Since having access to consistent work is a critical factor in helping people meet their mortgage obligations, foreclosure activity will likely stay in decline while the allure of new homeownership—and, thus, the demand for housing in Indianapolis—expands.
A rise in housing demand usually puts a squeeze on inventory, however, and we’re seeing that in Indy, too. The availability of single-family homes on the open market has fallen another 11%, according to MIBOR, which has driven competition among traditional homebuyers—and, in turn, median home sales prices—higher. But, provided you have a way to find off-market properties at below market values in the city, flipping houses to help meet Indy’s growing appeal shouldn’t be too hard.
To make it a little easier, here are just a handful of neighborhoods where opportunities to buy, rehab, and sell houses in Indianapolis could be the greatest in 2019:
- Bates-Hendricks. The increasing popularity of Bates-Hendricks with homebuyers makes this neighborhood a great choice if you want to start house flipping in Indy. Though it’s been considered up-and-coming for several years, it wasn’t until very recently that Bates-Hendricks started to see a surge in property values and median home sales prices, thanks to a combination of community revitalization projects and local real estate investment interests. Then, in 2018, one of the homes in the area became the focus of nationally-televised ‘fix-n-flip’ show, effectively putting this long-transitioning neighborhood on the map and in the minds of other investors. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be hard to still find good deals and take your place at the forefront of the neighborhood’s changing landscape—especially with a good real estate lead generation system that finds distressed homeowners and brings them to you.
- Lockerbie Square/Cottage Home. The downtown historic districts of Lockerbie Square and Cottage Home are still worth watching and investing in when you can. Both neighborhoods watched their median home sales prices skyrocket in the last two years to well above the median home list prices. So, if you found investment properties to flip in either of these areas even just a year ago, and calculated all of your costs correctly, you’ve probably found you’re also in quite a bit of green. But, the opportunities to realize decent ROIs haven’t left you behind if you know how to connect with homeowners who may be looking for solutions to financially-distressing situations. And, because many of the houses in Lockerbie Square and Cottage Home are smaller, older homes, it’s also still possible to renovate fairly inexpensively for the growing community of homebuying couples wanting to get in while it’s still somewhat affordable.
- Broad Ripple. The location and economic and cultural diversity of Broad Ripple attracts home buyers from all backgrounds. And, when there is something for everyone, including a good range of affordable housing, like Broad Ripple, offers, it makes for a great place to invest. The jump in the median home sales price for the area in the last two-and-a-half years doesn’t hurt, either. With a significant surge in house prices, the neighborhood’s been a boon for those who bought and sold early. But, because demand is still high, it’s still a good time to flip here. After all, if you have a real estate investment analysis and valuation tool to help you correctly calculate costs so that you buy at the right price, then your chances of seeing potentially great returns when you sell may still be high. And, that can be great for your business—and for the buyers who want an updated home.
Truth be told, there are a number of neighborhoods that may provide better-than-average opportunities to earn a good living flipping houses in Indianapolis. Knowing where to look takes more than pointing to a popular place on the map—even if it’s someone like me who’s doing the pointing. It takes having access to the kind of resources that can direct you to deals in any Indy neighborhood and a team that supports your success when you find them.
Where to Look to Improve Your Chances of Investing Success
One great thing about becoming an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, as I did years ago when I first started investing, is that you get the tools and resources you need to find great investment opportunities. But, you also get the training and support from the “We Buy Ugly Houses®” team to help convert them into good deals. So, though the Circle City seems to suddenly have landed on everyone’s radar, I knew early on that I’d have a good chance at having a lifelong career here. Like I told Don, with a lot of hard work and the HomeVestors® team behind him, he could have a solid chance at a rewarding career a professional real estate investor.
To find out how being an independently owned and operated franchisee can help you buy, rehab and sell houses more effectively, contact HomeVestors about Indy opportunities today.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.