It was just last weekend that I took my dog, Lily, over to Heritage Animal Hospital for her yearly physical and met another investor—and Labrador lover—in the waiting room doing the same. Frank was his name and, as it turns out, he’s been an investor for almost as long as I have. So, after we shared notes on our dogs, we swapped stories about investing in the Flint, Michigan real estate market.
But, while I’ve been successfully buying, renovating, and reselling distressed homes in the area for years, Frank has struggled off and on. He’s even quit the business a few times. Having heard that the market was making a comeback, however, he hoped that this year would be the one that would finally set him up to do as well as I’ve done. Since I thought it might not be a bad idea for us to have more than that in common, I asked my new friend and fellow real estate investor to join me on a short walk with our dogs.
Is the Flint Michigan Real Estate Market Making a Comeback?
To my knowledge, Flint has never made it onto any popular top ten lists as one of the cities you should invest in. So, to say that it is making a comeback can seem like a bit of a stretch. Compared to places like San Francisco, Chicago, and even Detroit, we’re relatively small. And, we don’t tend to attract some of the big employment players, like Amazon or Google, when they’re scouting for new headquarters. Flint isn’t exactly your typical vacation destination, either. In fact, the only time we seem to land on anyone’s radar is when things go wrong, like the water crisis and the closing of several automotive plants. These facts can make the prospect of becoming a real estate investor in Flint, and making a decent living at it, look bleak.
But, if you step back and broaden your view, you’ll find that just because it’s not yet on every investor’s radar doesn’t mean that Flint isn’t coming into its own, or that it wasn’t ever great to begin with. Our city is the birthplace of General Motors and the strike that’s been credited with ensuring all auto workers are paid fair wages. And, in addition to education, healthcare, energy, and manufacturing, the auto industry is still a major player in sustaining Flint’s economy—an economy that is growing despite years of bad press. From where I’m standing, that makes my city look pretty great for people from a variety of sectors searching for good jobs. Look closely and I’m sure you’ll find the same.
That’s good news for both existing homeowners who need to meet their mortgage payments and would-be homeowners in search of a first place to call their own. When people can pay their bills, they do. Given the opportunity to improve their circumstances, like buying a larger house or one in a better neighborhood, they tend to do that, too. Both are possible in the city of Flint—especially when you also consider that, though the median household income is lower than other major metropolitan cities around the country, so is the cost of living. So, the means to create a good life are available here. And, as the dust from the water crisis continues to settle, Flint’s affordability is bound to only raise its appeal. If you’re already buying, renovating, and selling homes in the area when that happens, your returns might see a raise, too.
Already, investors like me are seeing how the shift in Flint’s economic tides, and other Michigan-wide real estate market trends, are affecting local home sales prices. Currently at just under $80,000, the median home sales price for Flint has hovered above asking prices for more than two years, according to Realtor.com. For hotspots like Woodcroft Estates, houses have been selling for close to $190,000. But, even in Eastside—considered the most affordable neighborhood in town with some homes listed under $15,000—prices are on the rise. And, properties rarely stay on the market longer than a couple of months. Granted, homes aren’t flying off the shelves for a million or more as they are in L.A. But, because your initial investment is less, your returns can still be potentially swift and substantial. In fact, how much money you can make in Flint real estate will largely depend on you.
Of course, your lead-finding strategy has to be spot on as well. Many investors use lead lists or enlist government programs, like the Genesee County Land Bank, to find good deals. But, these strategies often fall short in providing deals that you can count on. Dealing with the Land Bank, for example, will entangle you in red tape and not necessarily in a great property. So, if you want to start investing here now—and, there is no better time than the present—then, choose your lead generation strategy wisely. Flint’s continued growth, and your portfolio, depend on it.
Be a Part of Flint’s Growth Now By Investing in Your Future
The year that I started buying property to rehab and resell in Flint was a tough one. In addition to simply being a new investor, I was terribly unskilled. The market was just limping along then, but I jumped right in anyway—and, broke my bank account on a bad deal as a result. Instead of backing off until a better year came my way, however, I looked for a way to make my own comeback.
And, like I told Frank, I found it by becoming an independently owned and operated Michigan HomeVestors® franchisee. As a franchisee, I was trained how to be a better investor—in any market—and given some of the best marketing resources to help make it happen, like the nationally-known “We Buy Ugly Houses®” marketing, a seasoned Development Agent and a helpful network of regional franchisees ready to offer help and advice. So, provided I worked hard, the future of my business was bright. That gives me the chance to make sure Flint’s real estate market is, too.
Join Frank in making this your year to be a part of Flint’s growth, too. Contact HomeVestors today to start investing in Flint, Michigan real estate—and, your business future.
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