If you’ve got your finger on the pulse of our local real estate market, then you already know where to find the ideal investment property in Columbus, Ohio. But, as someone who’s just starting a career in real estate investing, it’s likely you don’t know where to find the best deals. That was the case with my young neighbor, Kevin. Other than me way back in the day, I’ve never known someone so eager to start investing but he didn’t know where to look for properties.
As a successful Columbus old-timer who’s been around the investing block a few times, finding motivated sellers in neighborhoods that are hot or quickly heating up is my specialty. So, he came to me for help. If you need to know where to start buying, rehabbing, and selling property in Columbus, I’m here to extend that help to you, too.
Where to Find Ideal Investment Property in Columbus, Ohio
Generally speaking, the real estate market throughout the city is considered to be one of the hottest in the nation. By the fourth quarter of last year, median home sales prices were up to $228,000 from $150,000 the year prior, according to Realtor.com. And, sellers were typically getting more than asking than many other major metropolitan markets in the U.S. That didn’t change, either, once the new year rolled around. The sale-to-list-price ratio in February—a time when home sales can sometimes lag—was nearly 107%. It’s the demand for relatively affordable housing in areas with a reasonable cost of living, like Columbus, that has helped to drive these numbers up.
But, while the cost of housing in Columbus is still modest relative to some cities in the region, the rise in the local home prices has pushed affordability to a 10-year low. The four hikes in interest rates for 2018 didn’t help matters much for would-be Columbus homeowners, either. In fact, with the overall cost of purchasing a home in the city up, fear of buying at the height of the market could start to slow home shopping down—especially in moderate-to-high priced neighborhoods. And, where homeowners aren’t buying, you may not want to be investing.
Of course, whether that happens or not, opportunities to fill the desire for homeownership at the lower end of the market will remain. And, in the communities where government programs are specifically working to increase family-friendly amenities, reduce crime, and generally spruce things up, homeownership demand is likely to grow. It’s in these transitioning neighborhoods that you’ll find older, smaller, distressed houses that hold the best potential for making great starter homes for new buyers. As long as you buy and sell at the right price, your potential for realizing good returns will be off to a good start, too.
So, where are the best neighborhoods for buying investment property in Columbus, Ohio so that you can realize an ideal rate of return? I’ve got a few great suggestions for you:
The once poverty-stricken and formerly ignored industrial neighborhood of Franklinton is finally on its way toward shaking things up. Of course, this shakeup started more than ten years ago when recovery initiatives, like Home Again and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, began removing or rehabbing old and decrepit homes that weren’t fit to live in. Since that time, the City of Columbus has picked up the torch to continue transforming the neighborhood into a safer, cleaner residential community known more for its factory-turned-art-galleries than for its former substandard education opportunities.
This has helped to boost its appeal among new homebuyers, especially startup Millennials who want to live near the city center without having to pay downtown prices. And, that’s helped to push median list prices to more than $98,000 from $60,000 a year ago. While that’s quite a jump, it’s still within reach for new home buyers. So, not only is it possible to realize potentially good returns when you invest in Franklinton, but you should also be able to sell your investment property quickly as long as you market to the right demographic.
Southern Orchards is another near-downtown neighborhood undergoing revitalization. Beginning in 2008, largely driven by the children’s hospital’s Healthy Homes program, this southside community has witnessed multiple changes over the years. It’s seen the demolition of dangerous structures, the development of commercial and office units, and the improvement of walkways, parks, and playgrounds. By 2012, the Urban Infrastructure Recovery Fund Program hopped on board to help further these efforts along by adding Southern Orchards to its list of projects, too. And, help hasn’t stopped there. Several organizations since, including the City of Columbus, have collectively donated millions of dollars to land this neighborhood on the map as one of the best neighborhoods to raise a family.
By all appearances, it seems to be working. Revitalization efforts in Southern Orchards have helped to renew interest in local homeownership. And, it’s the demand for rehabbed, move-in ready homes, specifically, that has gone up. As a result, asking prices for properties in the area are on the rise, too. Median list prices at the beginning of the year landed at $186,000. That’s a $50,000 leap from the same time last year. With the push for beautification ongoing, these numbers are expected to keep climbing. Buy investment property here and you could soon say the same about your returns.
The relatively small family-friendly community of Reeb-Hosack has also been home to big changes in recent years. Where signs of homeowner distress, like boarded up windows and unkempt lawns, were the norm in the years following the housing crash, we are now seeing signs of a comeback. Residents have long waited to feel fortune smile on them again with safety, opportunity, and economic stability. Now that it has, this distinctly urban neighborhood has started to develop an affluent suburban feel.
With more and more houses in the area getting bought, renovated, and resold to new homeowners who’d rather pay a mortgage than the rising cost to rent in Columbus, it’s easy to see why. Neighborhood blight is down thanks to ongoing revitalization efforts and median home list prices are up. In fact, prices have more than doubled in the last year.
Even so, individual Reeb-Hosack residents have experienced the area’s recovery unevenly. Not all of the local businesses that closed their doors after the crash have reopened and few of the factories that folded are flourishing again. Sure, new opportunities have taken their place and the community’s proximity to downtown gives locals easy access to more. But, for some, the damage is already done. The loss of work has meant the loss of a stable livelihood—and the ability to properly care for a home. And, those homeowners in the worst distress may want to get out. Get your hands on one of these homes to rehab and sell and you may be able to do some good and grab onto a bit of green.
Keep in mind, however, that as you’re traveling down your new real estate investment career path here in Columbus, location isn’t everything. Yes, the neighborhoods above do currently provide more bang for your buck than others. But, your search for the best deals should center more on how to find off-market properties at below-market prices all across Columbus. For that, you’ll need to first get access to high-value leads on highly motivated sellers. Guess what? Knowing how to do that happens to be my specialty, too.
Get Qualified Leads On Motivated Columbus Home Sellers
I’ve been buying investment property in Columbus, Ohio for so long, I’ve seen more than my fair share of neighborhoods shift from cold to lukewarm to steaming hot. I believe that participating in these healthy transitions is as important as making a living, so I pay attention to how local market winds are blowing. But, if there is one thing I have learned over the years, especially since becoming an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, it’s that location isn’t all you should focus on. That’s because distressed homeowners who are motivated to sell their properties fast and at below-market prices live throughout Columbus. If you’ve got access to the kind of qualified leads, marketing tools and resources that I do, you can find them. And, if you don’t? Well, you should probably look into becoming a Columbus, Ohio HomeVestors® franchisee—like Kevin and me.
Find more Columbus investment deals by getting more value out of your home seller leads. Contact HomeVestors today!
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