As Madison and I talked about buying investment property in Ohio, I could tell that the part she was most nervous about was her own ability to find the best deals. I’m a seasoned old-timer who’s pretty well-known for successfully investing in Cleveland real estate. But, she’s a recent Case Western grad who’s thinking about going home to Cincinnati to start her new investing career there.
As different as we may have seemed on the surface, I knew we were very much alike. We both went to college with the initial goal of climbing up the corporate ladder. And, by the time I graduated, like Madison, I knew I was a better fit for real estate that I would ever be sitting at a desk. Perhaps more importantly, I also questioned my ability to find good deals as a new investor—but things turned out quite alright for me.
When I assured her that Cincinnati is as great a place to find good deals as Cleveland, her shoulders dropped and I could see her relax a bit. In fact, if you know where to look, there are good investment opportunities throughout the Buckeye State.
Where to Find Great Investment Property in Ohio
In fact, in some ways, buying, renovating, and selling property in Ohio has never been better. Not only is our economy stable, but the housing market is also strong. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong work ethic, there’s just no better way to craft a good living than by investing in single-family homes—no matter your age or experience.
Now, as seasoned as I am, I can’t offer you much in terms of elbow grease—you’ll have to supply that on your own. But, I can show you how market forces in Ohio are coming together to provide really good investing opportunities. Here’s what I mean:
- Employment is on the rise. In fact, having peaked at a whopping 11% just after the crash, unemployment is now less than 4.5%. With VC firms funding Ohio-based tech startups and the expansion of medical research facilities, like the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, even more jobs are coming down the pipe. This means residents will not just have jobs, but they will have good paying jobs that may afford homeownership.
- Homeownership is expanding. Homeownership took a deep dive after the housing crisis, but now, Ohio residents are again looking for a permanent place to hang their hats. You could be the investor to serve that need.
- Home prices are climbing. The average price of a house has gone up, too, according to the latest report from the Ohio Association of Realtors®—by 5.3% percent from this time last year. This could reflect well on your returns if you buy investment property now.
These market elements follow a typical pattern: more jobs and better salaries almost always lead to an increase in demand for housing and a boost in property prices. While this bodes well for the whole state, some locations are better than others for realizing potentially good returns on your investments. With that in mind, let’s take a look at where you might be able to find some of the best deals on Ohio investment property.
As one of the best cities to find jobs for the second year in a row, all employment-seeking eyes are on the Queen City. That’s good news when you’re an investor. Low unemployment helps to reduce poverty and crime—both of which Cincinnati struggled with in years past. These days, however, all crime is down and property crime has dropped by double digits.
The safer neighborhoods become, the more attractive they’ll be to potential homeowners—especially in an area that is also considered one of the most affordable for first-time homebuyers in the region. As long as you buy at the right price in up-and-coming neighborhoods, like Oakley, you should see an upward trend in your selling prices.
I’m certainly not going to leave Columbus off my list as a great place to find good deals. After all, as of March of this year, Columbus took the number one spot as the hottest housing market in the U.S., according to Realtor.com. And, because of the city’s relative affordability compared to other cities in the region, its popularity with buyers is growing, pushing median home sales prices higher. In fact, sales prices for single-family homes had gone up by 7.7% by the end of 2018 from the year before. With this trend likely to continue, it’s expected that the region’s housing market will stay strong.
If home prices start to rise faster than wages, however, affordability for some buyers could become an issue as it has in other markets around the country. But, it’s not an issue that necessarily impacts you if you have a way to find off-market real estate deals at below market prices. As long as you keep your rehab at or under budget after buying low, too, you should be able to price your property affordably without sacrificing good returns. Even then, your best upside bets are going to be at the lower end of the market in transitioning communities like Franklinton and Southern Orchards. Renovating older, smaller, ugly houses in these areas can help to boost property values, the attraction to buyers, and, ultimately, your bank account.
I’ve got several reasons why I buy residential property in Cleveland to rehab and sell, and I’m going to give you some great ones. First of all, just since the beginning of the year, unemployment dropped almost another full percentage point. Now at 3.8%, more Cleveland residents have been employed in the last couple of years than in most of the ten years prior. That’s partly due to the city’s staple industries, like manufacturing, transportation, and finance adding new jobs all the time. But, it’s also due to Cleveland’s growing reputation as the midwest tech hub. In fact, if local venture capitalists have anything to do with it, all startups will be getting their start right here on the North Coast.
That puts us squarely on track for attracting more people in search of better opportunities and a new home—especially in Millennial hotspots like Ohio City. And, the increase in our pool of potential homebuyers will only heighten the existing surge in home sales prices. Median list prices are already trending up year-over-year by 8.6% and sellers are getting close to asking, even in our seasonal market. Provided you can find fixer-upper homes for sale to buy, rehab, and sell at the right price, your investing career will be right on track, too.
With a good real estate lead-generation strategy in place, finding deals with a decent upside in any of these cities won’t be hard. And, a great system can help you easily find Ohio investment property just about anywhere and under any market condition, too. After all, it’s all about the numbers—your numbers. Buying below market value from motivated sellers who’ve come directly to you is the best way to keep your numbers in the green.
The Upside of Getting a Better Marketing Strategy
Like Madison, I was nervous when I started my career as a real estate investor. Knowing I was giving up the chance at a steady paycheck for a financial future I may not be able to control was frightening. Even so, the idea of spending my life behind a corporate desk scared me more.
Thankfully, most of my fears were put to rest once I became an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee. Not only did I gain access to some of the best marketing tools for generating motivated home seller leads in the business, but I also got a much-needed boost in confidence that my earning potential was up to me. A better marketing strategy coupled with a dedicated work ethic like mine—and Madison’s from the look of it—helps contribute to a clear path to success. If you’re interested in buying investment property in Ohio, finding your way toward qualified leads is the direction you should take, too.
Get on the right side of a professional real estate investing career by improving how you find real estate investment deals. Call HomeVestors about becoming an Ohio franchisee today!
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